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Pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas which is an organ located behind the stomach’s lower part in the human body.
Types of pancreatitis:
- Acute Pancreatitis
- Chronic Pancreatitis
Acute Pancreatitis lasts for a shorter duration of time. It is the sudden inflammation of the pancreas in the human body. Acute pancreatitis is a disease where an individual has damage in their tissues, bleeding into the gland, get an infection and is also subject to the formation of a cyst. If this goes untreated, then it might also result in the harm of organs like lungs, kidneys and lungs. Acute Pancreatitis can cause mild discomfort and can also turn into a disease that is life-threatening.
Chronic Pancreatitis is a long-term disease. The inflammation in the pancreas lasts for a longer duration of time. It can be caused by the consumption of alcohol in large quantities. Though the symptoms might not be visible for a few years, it has the possibilities of developing over the years that causes this chronic condition. Chronic Pancreatitis is a condition that happens after Acute Pancreatitis.
The symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis and Chronic Pancreatitis are usually similar but might vary in some terms.
Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis:
- If an individual has an increased heart rate, they might have the condition. But, an increased heart rate might be due to a plethora of other reasons. So, other symptoms combined with this should be considered.
- The swelling of the abdomen region
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Vomiting and feeling nauseated
- Having a fever
- Pain in the upper abdomen area. This pain radiating into the back of the body might be a strong symptom of Acute Pancreatitis.
Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis:
- Having a constant pain in the upper abdominal area that radiates into the back means that an individual might be having chronic pancreatitis. The abdominal pain might even be disabling in some individuals
- Individuals who have Pancreatitis suffer from malabsorption of food which results in weight and diarrhoea. When an individual has pancreatitis, the gland does not release enzymes that are enough to break down the food taken; this results in poor absorption of food
- In case the damage occurs in the cells that are responsible for the production of insulin, then it might result in diabetes.
Causes of Pancreatitis:
- The fat level in blood: high
- Calcium level in blood: high
- Pancreatic genetic abnormalities
- Viral infections
- Abnormalities in the hormones
- Damage to pancreas due to injuries in the abdominal area
- Intake of steroids and/or estrogens
The causes for this ailment are unclear but it is linked to being caused by the following:
- Acute pancreatitis can be caused because of the presence of gallstones in an individual.
- It can also be caused by high levels of alcohol consumption.
- Certain medications and surgeries might also cause the disease.
- If an individual has an autoimmune disease, trauma, certain infections, disorders of the metabolic system, they might be at a higher risk of developing Acute Pancreatitis.
20 % to 30 % of the Chronic Pancreatitis cases are unknown in terms of the causes. The rest 80 % to 70 % of cases are because of the following:
- Presence of gallstones
- A heavy consumption of alcohol for a long duration of time is also linked to the development of Chronic pancreatitis
- Chronic pancreatitis can be caused by the presence of Cystic fibrosis and other hereditary conditions
- Having a high level of lupus and triglycerides can cause chronic pancreatitis
Prevention From Pancreatitis:
The following prevention steps can prevent most of the medical ailments to take a toll on you, let alone Pancreatitis. But, they are specifically for this disease as it can be caused if one does not follow the following prevention steps:
- Increase your physical activity
The development of gallstones is more likely in the case an individual is overweight. So, excess weight can be reduced to reduce the chances of developing gallstone and further reducing the risk of developing pancreatitis. Engaging in physical activity on a daily basis will help one to reduce excess weight.
- Do not follow diets that promise immediate weight reduction
Weight reduction and becoming fit and healthy is a slow process and is not something you can achieve within a span of a few days or even months. It is a slow process that involves dedication to the cause. Crash dieting should be avoided. Following a crash diet could result in the liver to cause increased cholesterol production. This increases the chances of the development of gallstones that might cause Pancreatitis.
- Eating healthy
One of the major causes of the development of acute pancreatitis is gallstones. And, gallstones can form in case there is a high level of cholesterol that has been accumulated in the bile (a liver substance that aids in the process of digestion of fats). Eating healthy and the reduction of alcohol intake can avoid high levels of cholesterol. Avoid the consumption of foods with high fats and sugars and intake more vegetables, fruits and grains in your diet. A high dairy consumption should also be avoided. High levels of cholesterol and triglyceride can result in the increased risk of the development of acute pancreatitis. Eating more natural and healthy foods is a good way to make sure you stay ailment - free.
Avoid toxic substances:
- Quit or avoid smoking
If you have not smoked yet, do not start! And, if you do, try to completely quit the intake of tobacco or at least reduce. Smoking is linked to causing acute pancreatitis through the development of gallstones. Quitting smoking might also result in the reduced chances of many other medical ailments, making you a healthier person; it also increases the life expectancy of an individual.
- Avoiding or reducing the intake of alcohol
Alcohol has been linked to causing many health ailments. Reducing or limiting the consumption of alcohol can help the pancreas be safe from the toxins of alcohol. The increased intake of alcohol is linked to causing Pancreatitis in, both, women and men. This reduces the risk attached to developing Pancreatitis.
If you have been diagnosed with Pancreatitis:
Once diagnosed, it is advised to start the treatment immediately as if it is left untreated, then it might progress and develop into EPI - Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. You should make all the above lifestyle changes immediately to avoid it.
How is it diagnosed?
One of the methods to check if an individual has Pancreatitis is to suspect the disease through the symptoms that they have been having. When an individual has Pancreatitis, then their blood glucose level is affected, so blood tests are done to check the same. The following tests are performed to check the pancreas for irregularities:
The X-ray will help check for any damages to the lung like a collapsed lung tissue and any accumulation of fluids in the cavity of the chest.
- Physical Examination
A physical examination is carried out by a doctor. They examine the abdominal area to see if any area is sensitive to touch. If any area in the abdomen is found to be sensitive when it is touched, then it might mean that the individual examined has acute pancreatitis.
What is the indication of acute pancreatitis?:
The muscle walls of the abdomen are rigid. Also, while the abdomen is being inspected with a stethoscope, then there might be no or less intestinal sounds.
- MRCP scan - Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography scan
The Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography scan is done to see the pancreatic ducts and the bile in a clearer way. This scan shows a more accurate and clear version than the CT scans and is specifically designed for diagnosing Pancreatitis.
- Ultrasound scan
An ultrasound scan is done on an individual to check the condition of their pancreas. It is a high-frequency sound wave that shows the pancreas and the surroundings on a monitor so that the doctor can examine it for irregularities.
- CECT scan - Contrast Enhances Computed Tomography
A CECT scan takes several pictures of the area suspected to be affected from various angles. Then, they are placed in a way that a 3-dimensional image is produced so that scanning it for the disease is possible. This can also help in the determination of the collection of fluids in the gland and the number of changes in the gland’s density.
- Blood Test
A blood test might also be done to check for pancreatitis. In case the levels of lipase and amylase are high in the blood of an individual, it means that they are suffering from pancreatitis. But, blood tests cannot be fully reliable as they might not show any signs of the disease if the tests are done in the first 2 days. In addition to this, the level of lipase returns to normal in 8 days to 14 days and the level of amylase return to normal within a matter of 3 days to 7 days.
- ERCP scan - Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio - Pancreatography scan
This scan is an endoscopy that is inserted into an individual’s digestive system. Ultrasound is used to guide the endoscopy process. The Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio - Pancreatography scan is also capable of find out the exact location of the gallstone.
Treatment of Pancreatitis:
In case the individual has diabetes, they are given insulin. In the case of a low enzyme level causing problems in the digestion process, artificial digestive enzymes would be prescribed. A painkiller as chronic pancreatitis can cause constant and a high level of pain. In case the individual has autoimmune pancreatitis, then they are given steroids. In the case of chronic pancreatitis, if the pancreas is damaged, then it can’t be reversed. So, medication is given for the purpose of reduction of the pain.
Endoscopy is done in order to get rid of any blockages pain is reduced. This process is also carried out to make sure the pain is reduced. The blockage is removed by inserting a flexible and long tube through the mouth of the individual to remove pancreatic stones. Then, stents are placed by putting in small tubes so that any leaks are closed and achieve an improved flow.
- Surgery: The last resort
This treatment is only needed in severe conditions. The conditions being that an individual is not responding to the medication and has a severe level of pain. What the surgery does is that it removes a part of the pancreas in order to provide relief from the pain. The surgery is also capable of draining cysts and unblocking the pancreatic duct.
Complications in Chronic Pancreatitis:
- Chronic pancreatitis can progress to pancreatic cancer. Though the risk is low, some individuals might develop it.
- Chronic Pancreatitis can also cause pseudocyst. A pseudocyst is a collection of debris, blood, enzymes of the pancreas, tissue and fluids in the abdomen that is caused by any leaks of the digestive fluid that escaped from an irregular pancreatic duct. If these pseudocysts are infected, they might cause internal bleeding.
- A case of chronic pancreatitis can take a toll on the mental health of the individual. They might develop depression, stress and/or anxiety. This is due to the constant pain caused by pancreatitis. To cope with this, the individuals can seek help from support groups and therapy.
Complications in Acute Pancreatitis:
- Acute Pancreatitis can lead to the obstruction of the pancreatic duct or the bile
- It might also cause the failure of the lung or heart of the individual, leading to death if left untreated
- Acute Pancreatitis can also cause splenic vein thrombosis
- Can cause pleural effusion
- The pancreatic duct can have a leak
- Can also cause Pseudocysts with the complications of an infection, haemorrhage and/or a rupture
Avoid heavy consumption of alcohol and fatty foods are one of the best ways to make sure your body and system are healthy and to avoid ailments like Pancreatitis. Treatment is extremely important in case of Pancreatitis as if left untreated, it can cause further complications.
In our study of the females of urban area, the following were the comments made by them when asked as to why they felt lack of sexual interest for their partners:
Deteriorated sexual self-esteem
Women expressed lower feeling of attractiveness and change in the body image. Such feelings overshadowed their sexual self-steam. “…I’m not happy with my body. I have sagging breasts and flabby stomach bulging out after child birth which made me very ugly ... I don’t feel attractive at all (24 y/o, teacher).
Some participants had experienced being reproached by their spouse and believed that this behavior had reduced their self-confidence. “…He permanently finds faults in my body. He blames my loose vagina, my passivity in sex and…; my self-confidence in sex has been reduced” (44y/o, teacher).
The spouse’s infidelity was also expressed by some women. “I have noticed his relationships for some years. He has not approached me for several months” (45 y/o, govt officer).
Deteriorated feminine position
Sexual desirability was mentioned by some participants. “When I was sexually active, I had more energy and motivation. I felt merriment and lively but I don’t, now.” (36 y/o, PhD).
Feeling as an incompetent woman was very challenging for the women who took part in this research.“Meeting the sexual need of the spouse is the duty of his wife. He wants me to be like other eager women, but I have no interest in sex. I do not act in a feminine manner” (42 y/o, Master of Science).
Being rejected by the spouse was also stated by some women. “He says that he doesn’t want me anymore. When I remember his words, I go mad. I have even cried during intercourse several times” (33 y/o, diploma).
Struggle in sexual issues
Concern about losing the relationship and spouse
Accepting sex to maintain the spouse was mentioned by women. “He also needs sex. Either I have to accept it or he may have desire for other women” (40 y/o, bachelor).
Many of housewife women talked about financial support: “When I need money, I accept the relationship, even an anal intercourse” (30 y/o, diploma).
Concern about continued sexual reluctance was worrying in some women. “If my lack of desire continues, I may see his sexual frigidity and our intimate relationship will collapse… I will get miserable” (24y/o, diploma).
Surrendering to sexual relationship
Half of the women expressed their pretension to be interested in sex and their role playing: “I pretend I am interested in sex, but he knows that I’m not behaving like the past”. I role-play in sex to satisfy my husband’s sexual needs.” (24 y/o, diploma).
Deterioration of the couple’s relationship
Deteriorated marital interactions
Less emotional interactions with the spouse was stated by some women. “I’ve been avoiding him and I don’t get intimate with him” (39 y/o, associate degree).
Women believed that change in the spouse’s behavior reduced his attractiveness. “… If my husband demands sex and I refuse it, he will get grumpy and will find an excuse to begin an argument” (31 y/o, associate degree).
Reduced affection expressed by the spouse was also mentioned “...he doesn’t care about me anymore. If I go to my mom’s house from morning to evening, he even doesn’t call to see how I am doing”. (30y/o, diploma).
Sexual disharmony between the couple
Lack of sexual talk with the spouse was observed among the majority of participations.
“I haven’t talked about my problem with him. We do not talk about sexual issues together” (30 y/o, diploma).
Sexual avoidance of the woman was stated by participants. “When my husband demands sex, I say I’m busy or sleepy…” (24 y/o, diploma).
More than half of women referred to sexual coercion by their spouses. “Sometimes, I have to accept sex. It is very difficult to tolerate it. I feel offended and choked with anger” (31 y/o, bachelor).
Anal and oral sex were considered as annoying or unusual sexual demands by the spouse “anal sex according to Islam, it should be avoided ... I also don’t like oral sex. I feel women are insulted to do so. I feel sick when I talk about it” (22 y/o, diploma).
The clitoris may be the most pivotal structure for female sexual pleasure. While its significance has been reported for hundreds of years, no complete anatomical description was available until recently. Most of the components of the clitoris are buried under the skin and connective tissues of the vulva. It comprises an external glans and hood, and an internal body, root, crura, and bulbs; its overall size is 9-11 cm.
Clitoral somatic innervation is via the dorsal nerve of the clitoris, a branch of the pudendal nerve, while other neuronal networks within the structure are complex. The clitoris is the center for orgasmic response and is embryologically homologous to the male penis. While the source of vaginal eroticism might or might not be exclusively clitoral stimulation, it is necessary to understand the intricate anatomy of the organ to assess the data in this regard. Ultimately, sexual enjoyment entails a balance of physical and emotional factors and should be encouraged.
Most women report that clitoral stimulation is an integral aspect of their orgasm experience. we conducted a study on Eighty-eight women 18 to 53 years old who answered detailed questions about their usual and recent orgasm experiences, sexual history, depression, and anxiety. Then, they viewed a series of sexual films.Most women (64%) reported that clitoral and vaginal stimulation contributed to their usual method of reaching orgasm. Women who reported primarily stimulating their clitoris to reach orgasm reported higher trait sexual drive and higher sexual arousal to visual sexual stimulation and were better able to increase their sexual arousal to visual sexual stimulation when instructed than women who reported orgasms primarily from vaginal sources. Thus, watching porn or sex video call will help a woman get orgasm more by clitoral stimulation than vaginal insertion.
The body needs time to repair itself. Lack of sleep can upset the body's metabolism and possibly hasten the onset of age-related conditions.
Itchy skin is a very uncomfortable condition and causes physical and mental irritation to those who have it. It is a very common problem especially among those who have dry skin.
Pruritus is a skin condition where it gets very itchy. The level of itchiness differs among individuals and also varies according to the cause of the condition as well. Due to constant scratching of the affected area, this condition can become worse and can even cause infections.
Pruritus is most commonly caused because of dry skin and that is why it is more common in adults because the skin gets drier as the age of the person increases. When the skin is affected by pruritus, it might get red or it might appear just as normal. When it gets a bit severe, chances of developing bumps and blisters are also high. The mind reacts very quickly when it itches, that is why most of the people end up scratching the itchy area which proves to be harmful in the end. Repeated scratching causes the affected area to thicken, after which it can also start bleeding.
Generally, itchiness is caused only in some small or specific areas of the body. If there is itching on the whole body, then probably it is because of an allergic reaction. It is important to note that pruritus can happen without any visible changes on the skin but there could be following symptoms as well:
- Redness of the skin. The area will also feel warmer.
- Blisters or bumps. There could be a presence of spots in different areas.
- Dry skin which causes it to crack, giving it a leathery kind of texture.
Pruritus can also last for a long time with more severity. Itching and its severity are dependent on each other. When people feel itchy, they cannot resist scratching and when they scratch, itching and skin condition gets worse. Coming out of this loop is very hard but sometimes, trying to divert the attention somewhere else might help. In many situations, only medications are helpful.
When these conditions last for a period of weeks and do not show any signs of improving, it is best to visit the doctor. It is wise to seek medical attention in the following situations as well:
- When the person is not able to concentrate on their routine activities and cannot help thinking about it.
- When they abruptly feel itchy on any body part.
- When pruritus happens in the whole body instead of a specific part.
- In case there are other symptoms present in the body like drowsiness, weight-loss or weakness, digestion issues or fever.
Skin is vital, as well as delicate. It acts as a shield to protect the inside parts of the body. It can save the body from harmful elements like bacteria, viruses etc. with the help of some cells which are part of the human body’s immune system. Those cells detect the occurrence of an unwanted condition or a presence of a substance which might harm the body. Those cells are very reactive and act when some harmful substance touches the body, or when the body is having some infection or a disease. When those cells detect such a thing, they cause the affected area to develop inflammation which is what is known by the popular term rash or dermatitis. This inflammation triggers the itching. The severity of the rash varies from one person to the other. Some people have very sensitive skin. They can have rashes which are very painful and red, but some can have just the visibility of rashes but no or very less itching.
Following are some of the popularly known reasons for pruritus:
- The most common cause of pruritus is having a dry skin. This can be found out by checking the affected area carefully. If there are no blisters or bumps or no other change on that part, then probably the reason is dry skin. Dry skin which causes pruritus is also known as xerosis. Most people have dry skin by birth and it gets even drier when they grow up. Other reasons why the skin can become dry could be the exposure to an air-conditioned environment, staying in a heated room for a long time or washing the hands/body too often with soaps and chemical based washes.
- Pruritus can also be a result of other skin conditions. Those can be psoriasis, chickenpox, hives, scabies or dermatitis. Dermatitis is also known as eczema. These kinds of conditions generally have an impact on certain specific areas of the body and also cause other issues like redness, bumps or blisters.
- When the skin is itchy, it could be a signal that something is wrong in the body and there could be a presence of an illness. The illness could be related to the liver, kidney or any other organ. Diseases like kidney malfunction, deficiency of iron, cancer, leukaemia, thyroid and lymphoma could be the reasons. In such cases, not a specific part but the whole body becomes itchy. It is advisable not to go by the physical appearance because the skin might appear to be normal but still, there could be repeated itching on some parts or the whole body.
- It has been seen that diseases related to the nervous system also causes itching. Some examples of issues related to the nervous system are shingles, pinched nerves, diabetes mellitus, sclerosis etc.
- Another major cause of pruritus is an allergic reaction to some object. The range of objects is quite wide. It could be hard chemical based soaps like body wash, hand wash or even dishwashers. Some people also find wool as allergic and causes itching to them. Other objects could be some cosmetics, metals like nickel, or plants like poison ivy. There are certain foods like peanuts which also causes pruritus.
- There are certain medicinal drugs which can have their side effects like some antibiotics, narcotic pain related medicines, antifungal drugs. Reactions from these drugs mostly spread to the whole body and cause the rashes all over.
- Other general causes of itching are fungal infections or things like bedbugs, lice or other worms. An example of a fungal infection is athlete’s foot in which the area between the toes or the area around it gets affects and starts to itch.
- In females, during pregnancy, the skin can get itchy. Especially the abdominal area gets very itchy but even thighs can become like that. If a female who already has dermatitis becomes pregnant, the chances of dermatitis getting worse are very high.
How is it diagnosed?
To diagnose the presence of pruritus is straightforward because it simply means itching in the body. But to detect the cause of the itching can be a bit tricky. It can be a time-consuming process and requires a physical examination by the doctor or a skin specialist. The doctor would also ask about the medical history of the patient to check if the person is allergic to some specific substances or drugs. The doctor might also ask for one or few of the following tests:
- Blood tests: Lot of information can be gathered from a blood sample. The blood count can point in the right direction to detect the underlying cause of pruritus. It could be deficiency or iron or some other internal issue.
- Kidney function test: They are important to verify how well the kidneys are doing their work. Any disorders can immediately be detected with the help of kidney function. If there is a chronic kidney disease, it damages the kidneys very severely and disables them from filtering the toxins. This condition is also known as Uremia. When a person has Uremia, their itching increases in the night time and mostly affects the back, abdominal area and the arms.
- Thyroid test: It is used to find out if the person has got hyperthyroidism or any other thyroid abnormalities.
- Liver tests: They are helpful in checking the health of the liver.
- Chest X-rays: This test is useful in recognising the presence of any lung related diseases or issues like enlarged lymph nodes.
To avoid getting pruritus, it is important to keep the skin healthy and keep it away from risky substances. Following suggestions will help in the prevention of pruritus:
- Keeping the skin moisturized always is very crucial. Avoiding it from getting dry will improve its overall health as well. Use of moisturizing lotions and creams is highly advisable.
- When there is sunshine, use of sunscreen is also highly worthwhile. It does not matter whether the person is inside or outside. The rays of the sun reach indoors as well which is why sunscreen is beneficial.
- If the skin is sensitive or prone to pruritus, then soaps should be avoided. There are soap free options available in the market. If the soaps must be used, then using mild ones is advisable.
- Showering with hot water should be avoided and using warm water instead is suggested. Hot water makes the skin drier.
- Whenever possible, use cotton instead of synthetic clothes. Woolen clothes might not have many alternatives, but a cotton cloth can be worn inside them to avoid their direct contact with the skin.
- When the person is spending much time in the heated or air-conditioned room, then using a dehumidifier or keeping a bowl of water might help a little bit.
- When the skin is irritated, it might be very difficult to resist itching, but keeping a washcloth soaked in cold water can help in giving some relief. It will bring the inflammation down and prevent the person from scratching the already sensitive area.
- When the person is going outside where the presence of insects or mosquitoes could be there, then keeping themselves covered is wise. Using a mosquito repellent indoors will also be very helpful.
- If the person is allergic to substances like nickel, then use of artificial jewellery should be strictly avoided. Instead, they should use alternatives like pure gold or pure silver.
The treatment of pruritus depends on the underlying cause of this problem. If the reason is simply dry skin, then moisturizing alone will solve the issue. For other causes, the treatments are as follows:
- Skin conditions like eczema or hives can be treated with the help of corticosteroids, but these should be used only if the skin specialists approve of them. Sometimes, doctors also prescribe antihistamines.
- If the itching is caused because of some allergy, then anti-allergy drugs like Benadryl, Allegra etc. can help as well.
- Fungal infections are mostly treated with drugs that are available over-the-counter. There are a few anti-fungal creams available with the pharmacies that can be used. For that, the person should be sure that the infection is fungal which only the doctor can confirm. They might also prescribe oral drugs like Lamisil or Terbinafine.
- A popular drug that doctors prescribe is hydrocortisone. Since it is a low potency steroid, it should only be used if it is prescribed by the doctor.
- In case the cause of pruritus is an internal body condition, then treatment will be provided to heal that, and the treatments could vary.
- Light or phototherapies are also used to control the itching.
Apart from mental discomfort, pruritus can also cause infections in case people cannot help scratching their skin. If pruritus is left untreated, it might not get healed and remain there.
People often believe that the presence of pruritus is only because of some allergy. It is not always the case. Allergies are just one reason for having this condition. There could be internal body condition as well which might lead to pruritus. Also, when the skin becomes red and hives are developed, many people relate those scenarios with superstitions which are scientifically and medically not valid.
Definition of Molluscum contagiosum:
Molluscum contagiosum is the infection of the skin caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus, which belongs to the same family as the pox. It is a common infection but is contagious. It causes raised nodules on the epidermal layer of the skin. This condition is also commonly known as the molluscipoxvirus. It is classified as a chronic infection and can be resolved in anywhere between six to nine months, generally.
Molluscum contagiosum is known to be more prevalent in the humid and warmer regions of the world, though it can occur anywhere. Being a contagious infection, it can spread from person to person by means of physical contact, sexual contact or sharing of contaminated articles of personal use. The mode of transfer is usually autoinoculation, meaning self-transfer by the virus from one area of the epidermal surface to another. More often than not, the incubation time for the virus in anywhere between two and seven weeks. For some people, the symptoms may show up even up to six months later.
After the healing process is complete, scars or marks are not left behind on the skin. They heal with time. In severe cases, the infection can take up to four years to be resolved completely.
Symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum:
- The most common areas of the body where Molluscum contagiosum generally appear are the epidermal surfaces of limbs, face, chest and trunk. In children, the symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum are often seen occurring on the limbs. In adults, the same symptoms can be found specifically on the inner thighs, abdomen and genital areas.
- The lesions or raised nodes can be itchy but do not pain in general cases. The lesions or nodes are small in size, with a diameter of 2 – 5 millimetre each. The unique character of this infection is that the lesions and nodes have a dimple lie resemblance in the central area.
- In the initial stages of the infection, the lesions or nodes have a dome-shaped structure and are the colour of flesh, but during the course of time, change in appearance to become more soft with a light or white shade at the centre, with the presence of a waxy, almost semi-solid material.
- For people who have normal to healthy immune systems, this infection can disappear naturally in the span of a few months. People who have other chronic diseases may face problems in resolving the issue naturally and spontaneously. This infection also further deteriorates their immune systems. The lesions may spread slowly or rapidly and become extensive in nature.
Causes of Molluscum contagiosum:
- Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus of the same name. This virus belongs to the pox family. The infection can spread by means of physical contact such as scratches, rubbing or touch. It can also spread by mode of sexual contact. Usage of personal articles or objects touched by an already infected individual can be a mode in which this auto inoculating virus spreads from person to person.
- People with weakened immune systems are more prone to not only Molluscum contagiosum, but any other infection, communicable or non-communicable. The idea is that the virus can survive and thrive in surfaces that have been in contact with the human skin which is infected by the same virus. So articles of personal use and public articles and objects are literally a breeding ground for the virus.
- The virus can survive only for a limited period of time on the epidermal surface of the human body, the skin. The presence of lesions or nodes on the skin surface indicates the activity of the virus. During the healing process, the lesions and nodes disappear, leaving no scars behind. This is an indication that the virus is no longer active and has left the body of the host.
Diagnosis of Molluscum contagiosum:
- Usually, the diagnosis of this viral infection is relatively easy because of its unique appearance of a dome-shaped node or lesion, which is between 2 and 5 millimetres in diameter. With due course, the appearance of the lesion changes from flesh coloured and dome-shaped to flattened and pale or white appearance with the presence of a semi-solid like waxy material.
- At the beginning of the infection, the eruptions are small and almost flat. In the next stage, the lesions become dome-shaped and are filled with a whitish, cheesy, wax-like substance that when punctured, can spread the virus. The semi-solid filled dome has a small navel-like depression in the centre. Towards the later stages, the nodules dry out or break on their own and the liquid is washed off. The skin takes time to heal the aberrations. In most cases, scars are not left behind. As new skin grows, there may be white patches of skin in the area affected by the viral infection. This eventually disappears and the lesions go away completely, leaving the skin fresh and without scars.
- Scars are left behind in very rare cases due to complicated infection or treatment of the viral infection by means of a surgical method.
- However, the doctor can confirm the presence of Molluscum contagiosum with a simple skin biopsy. In this method of diagnosis, the skin surface is scraped for a sample for testing. A pathologist can then easily determine the presence of the viral infection. This diagnosis is definitive and helps the doctor to distinguish from other conditions such as rashes, herpes, dermatitis, folliculitis or other common infections of the skin.
Treatment of Molluscum contagiosum:
In most cases of a Molluscum contagiosum infection, the infection will take a few months to heal on its own. The lesions or nodules completely disappear from the epidermal surface. People with a healthy immune system do not require a medical intervention unless it is a complicated or very advanced stage of the infection.
The cases where medical assistance and treatment is required is when the lesions are large, i.e. more than 15 millimetres in diameter and if the nodes have affected the face or neck region.
Patients who are already suffering from any other skin related issue of any kind do need the medical intervention of a doctor to prevent complications of the infection.
There are various treatment options to choose from:
- Curettage: In this method, a local anaesthetic is administered and the lesions filled with the cheese like waxy substance are scooped out with a sterilized spoon like an instrument. The anaesthetic is administered because the instrument has a sharp edge and the process might be a little painful.
- Cryotherapy: Used as a treatment option for many skin infections, skin tags, warts, etc., this is a process used to treat Molluscum contagiosum as well. In this treatment, a frozen liquid under high pressure is sprayed over the affected area to freeze the nodule. The nodules take around 10 seconds to get frozen completely. This is indicated by a layer of ice that forms over the raised lesion and its immediate surroundings. If it is a large lesion, more than one session is required.
- Diathermy: The exact opposite of cryotherapy, this method uses high heat from an electrical device to burn off the extra growth or raised nodule. A local anaesthetic is used to reduce the pain.
- Laser therapy: An intense beam of the laser is used to kill the infected cells and the immediate cells around it. This prevents the infection from spreading to other areas around the infected skin.
- Chemical Treatment: Though it is one of the methods of treatment, it is generally not recommended because of the pain and scarring that it causes. In this method, the doctor dips a sharp, sterilized instrument into a phenol or podophyllin compound and then pricks each of the lesions, releasing the cheese like waxy liquid in them. They burst and their contents are emptied and cleaned and sterilized. In some cases, a secondary infection may develop around the punctured lesion, leading to complications. Usually, for such cases, a hydrocortisone based cream is recommended. It helps to relieve the discomfort and itches. This is strictly not applied on the lesion, but only on the area of secondary infection or eczema.
Other than these, the doctor may prescribe medication to hasten the healing process and to prevent the occurrence of secondary infections. This includes trichloroacetic acid compounds, imiquimod, cantharidin based medicine or podophyllotoxin creams.
Whether the patient is pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding is an important factor that the doctor considers before the treatment. In case the patient is affected by HIV, then antiretroviral therapy is used exclusively. Rather than directly treating the Molluscum contagiosum, it strengthens the immune system of the body to help it fight the virus naturally. This is considered safe because it prevents the occurrence of secondary infections along with the pre-existing condition.
There are home remedies for Molluscum contagiosum that have been tried by patients, but there is no documented evidence of the same. Some of the effective home remedies as claimed by patients are iodine, alcohol, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, elderberry extract, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
It is known that once the Molluscum contagiosum is cured, it does not recur. Even after a long time, the virus is unlikely to appear again unless there is a new, complicated infection.
Some common treatment options involve the prescription of medicines such as salicylic acid, Valtrex, tretinoin, Tagamet, cimetidine, Aldara, Retin A, Avita, Atralin, Altinac, Renova, Corticosteroid creams, etc.
Prevention of Molluscum contagiosum:
Some of the best ways to prevent the infection of Molluscum contagiosum are:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Children who are more prone to this infection must be instructed to wash hands with antiseptic soap especially before eating.
- Avoid sharing articles of personal use such as towels, comb, soap bars, clothes, etc.
- If you are using public objects such as gym equipment or objects in the parks, you are at a higher risk of contracting this contagious infection. Make sure to wash up after use.
- Do not indulge in physical or sexual contact with an individual who is likely to be suffering from this viral infection.
- Avoid shared sports gear or contact sports if you are not taking proper preventive measures.
- Keep the nodules clean and do not scratch or pick at them. Do not shave the affected area until the infection is completely gone.
- If your abdomen or genitals are affected, avoid sexual contact until the healing process is complete.
Complications due to Molluscum contagiosum:
Though this viral infection is not fatal or painful, sometimes there are chances of secondary infection. Eczema might develop in and around the lesions on the affected epidermal layer. This can cause discomfort, swelling, itching and more often than not, leads to the spread of infection due to scratching of the affected area. This breaks the papules on the skin due to viral infection and the issue could amplify.
Puncturing or scratching the nodules or lesions may leave the wound open and this could lead to multiple other infections. If the site of the viral infection is in the area surrounding the eyes, there is a high chance of contracting conjunctivitis through contact with the waxy substance in the nodule.
Myths relating to Molluscum contagiosum:
Myth #1: Molluscum contagiosum is fatal.
No, Molluscum contagiosum is not fatal. More often than not, it doesn’t require treatment if the affected individual has a normal to the healthy immune system.
Myth #2: Once the infection is gone, it may recur.
No, once healed completely, the infection does not recur in the individual. The immune system of the body will have the required antibodies to fight the infection after the occurrence of the first bout.
Myth #3: Even after the lesions are gone, the person can transmit the viral disease to others.
No, once the infection has healed completely, the virus is no longer present in the body and the person cannot transmit the viral infection to other people.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
CNS (Central Nervous System) comprises of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the most important and complex organ in the human body. It consumes about 20% of the oxygen that we breathe. There are hundreds of thousands of well-connected neurons in the brain. The brain is protected by the skull. The spinal cord is connected to the back of the brain and it runs up to the lumbar region of the back.
Brain and the spinal cord are protected by a three-layered membrane and it is called meninges. The central nervous system has a great impact in controlling our emotions, movements and thoughts. It will affect our breathing, body temperature, production of hormones, heart rate and many other functions. Optic never, retina and other parts are connected to the brain directly.
CNS diseases are trauma, infections, degeneration, tumours, structural defects, stroke and an autoimmune disorder. The signs and symptoms vary from one disease to another disease.
Symptoms of CNS (Central Nervous System)-
The structure and function of the spine or brain will be affected when a person is suffering from CNS.
Some of the symptoms are listed below:
- Persistent headache
- Pain in the face
- Pain in the back
- Pain in the arms or legs
- Unable to concentrate
- Loss of feeling
- Memory loss
- Loss of muscle strength
- Slurred speech
- Sensitivity to light, sound and smell
- If a person is suffering from a migraine, there will be frequent vomiting and nausea. The person experiences trouble in vision by finding flashing lights. The sensitivity to sound, light and smell is obvious. The patient may experience speech issues as well.
- Brain tumours will lead to trouble in memorizing things. The patient suffers from poor thinking and cognitive skills. The other symptoms are seizures, headache, and problem in walking, seeing, hearing and talking. There will be mood swings, weakness and nausea.
- Multiple sclerosis will affect the brain and spinal cord cells which are integral for the functioning of the nervous system. The symptoms that are prominent with this condition include weakness of muscles, visual disturbances, sensation (pricking to numbness) and trouble in thinking and memory.
- If there are spinal cord disorders, there will be a change in reflexes. The other symptoms are a loss of bowel movement or bladder, partial or incomplete paralysis, and severe back pain. The general weakness is profound in patients suffering from spinal cord issues.
- If there are blood clots or blocking of the blood vessel, a person might suffer from a stroke. In addition to dizziness and weakness, there will be sudden numbness in various parts such as an arm, leg and face. The person suffers from a severe headache, trouble with understanding or speaking and problem in walking. A person may lose balance and coordination as well.
Causes of CNS (Central Nervous System)
- The injury to the brain or the spinal cord will lead to disability. The disability is based on the section of the spinal cord or brain affected by the injury
- Microorganism or virus will lead to infection. The infection can spread in several ways. There are some infections that affect the spine or the brain directly. Cryptococcal meningitis, malaria and leprosy are some of the infections affected by either virus or bacteria.
- If a person is affected by Parkinson’s disease, there will be degeneration of the spinal cord or brain. The dopamine-producing cells will degenerate on a gradual basis.
- Due to birth defects, parts of the brain or spinal cord are not formed properly. The structural defects will lead to various kinds of complications.
- There are cancerous and non-cancerous tumours which affect the central nervous system. The symptoms and damage are based on the area affected the body.
- If a person is suffering from the autoimmune disorder, the healthy cells in the body will be destroyed. The nerve’s insulation (myelin) will be affected when a person is suffering from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In this process, the white matter in the body will be eliminated.
- The blood supply to the brain will be interrupted which is called a stroke. When the cells are exposed to the lack of oxygen, the tissue will die and irreversible damage will take place.
How CNS (Central Nervous System) is diagnosed?
- CNS infection should be diagnosed to determine the right kind of therapy to overcome the condition.
- To diagnose the CNS disorder, the doctor will take the complete medical history of the patient. After the physical exam, various kinds of diagnostic procedures are implemented to figure out the disorder.
- Computed tomography scan (CT scan or CAT scan) – It is a diagnostic imaging procedure which uses x-rays and computer technology to figure out the disease. Horizontal as well as axial images of the body will be taken in various angles. It is possible to collect detailed pictures of the body including bones, organs, muscles and fat.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) is used to record the brains electrical activity through the electrodes.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets, radiofrequency, and a computer to record detailed images of organs and structures of the body.
- The metabolic activity of cells will be measured with Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Electrodiagnostic tests are used to evaluate and diagnose muscle disorders and motor neurons. The electrical activity and muscle response will be recorded.
- Arteriogram will be used to detect the blocks in arteries.
- Spinal tap or lumbar puncture will be done to measure the pressure in the spinal canal and brain. Cerebral fluid will be collected and the possibility of infection will be found.
- A die will be injected into the spinal canal to obtain the accurate picture of the structure through x-rays. This procedure is called Myelogram.
- Blood flow in case of stroke will be analyzed with the neurosonography by using high-frequency sound waves.
- Ultrasound (sonography) uses high-frequency sound waves and computer. Images of blood vessels, organs, tissues will be captured very accurately. The internal organs, as well as their functions, can be assessed with ultrasound.
- Prevention is considered for certain conditions such as a stroke. Most of the other conditions can be focused on the post-infant phase of life. The risk factors for neurological conditions should be avoided. The risk factors include inherited biological traits such as genetic predisposition.
- The behavioural and biological factors will play an important role in preventing the condition
- Temperature and climatic conditions and geographical variations will help in managing the condition in a better way
Treatment of CNS (Central Nervous System)
- If you are suffering from depression, you will want to undergo psychotherapy. You will want to take the help of psychologist, psychiatrist and trained medical professional to overcome the disorder. You will learn new ways to overcome various challenges and changes that depression affects.
- If a person is suffering from sleep disorder due to CNS, the rehab management is based on the type of disorder. In most of the cases, the doctors recommend good sleep hygiene. The routines to go to bed will be changed so that there is a possibility to optimize the sleep. Patients are advised to avoid naps and they should exercise on regular basis. Coffee should be avoided before bedtime. The exercising should be avoided before going to bed. Some patients are required to use medications and devices to overcome insomnia and breathing issues.
- With the help of family members, patients can change their sleep-related issues. The patient should go through the counselling if the sleep affects the work-life balance.
- The birth defects of the CNS will be overcome through the surgical procedures. There will be defects in the structure of the brain and the spinal cord. There are various kinds of disorders and medical conditions which come under minor to major categories. In the case of microcephaly, the brain growth will be affected. With spina bifida, the spinal cord will not form properly.
- If a person is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the muscles will become stiff. There will be difficulty in the initiation and the muscles will become slow. The patient will find it difficult to maintain the balance and posture. The issues include urination problems, constipation, sleep problems, loss of smell, dementia and depression. In addition to general measures to overcome the condition, physical and occupational therapy will be implemented by medical professionals. Some patients will be benefited through the deep brain stimulation.
- The root cause of CNS disorders that arise due to tumours will be diagnosed before offering the treatment. There are chemically induced tumours, brain tumours formed due to oncogenic viruses and other factors. Certain conditions occur in children as well as adults. Doctors will explore various options including brain chemotherapy to overcome the condition.
- There is no cure for autism and it is a permanent condition. By implementing the right kind of therapy, the disruptive behaviour can be managed in the best possible way. By imparting special education, the person will become independent. If the autism is diagnosed earlier, the treatment can be initiated quickly and there will be better results. The autism varies from one person to another person. Hence, the required treatment varies as per the condition.
- The stroke in a newborn baby or children is called as cerebral venous thrombosis. It will lead to a blood clot in the venous sinuses of the brain. The flow of blood from the blood to various parts of the organs will be affected. Cerebral venous thrombosis should be taken up as a medical emergency and the patient should be admitted into the hospital immediately. In addition to IV fluids, the patient will get medications to treat blood clots and seizures.
- Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder in children. The disorder affects 3% to 7% of children. There will be a tendency to be hyperactive and the patient will be impulsive and will not pay attention. There will be behavioural and academic difficulties in a person suffering from ADHD. The treatment options for ADHD include psychological intervention, medication, special counselling and support groups.
- There is a difference between CNS and peripheral nervous system. Even though CNS and peripheral nervous system are interconnected, the peripheral nervous system is connected outside the brain and spinal cord.
- Stroke, migraine, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord disorders are common CNS disorders. As per the research, there are more than 600 neurological disorders. The way the disorder affects the human body should be understood and the most appropriate treatment should be offered to the patient. The recovery and normalization of the patient are based on several factors. The condition and cause should be detected at an early phase so that the patient will get the best treatment and the condition can be managed in the best possible way.
- If there are neurological issues, there will be an impact on the movement, swallowing, speaking, breathing and learning difficulties. The functioning of the brain, nerves, spinal cord and nervous system will be affected.
Myths Related to CNS (Central Nervous System)
Myth #1: CNS disorders can be treated very efficiently – Even though most of the neuropsychiatric diseases do not have well-defined etiopathogenesis, there has been great progress on their causes. There are factors that affect genetics as well as the environment. The condition can be managed in a very efficient way by offering medication and family support.
Myth #2: CNS disorders will lead to social isolation – Patients suffering from CNS disorders should get the best support from the family and friends. There should be a broadminded approach to deal with the patients. With the institutional and community support, the social isolation can be avoided.
CNS diseases or CNS disorders are a group of neurological disorders which affect the structure of the brain or spinal cord. Your vital signs are controlled by CNS. Your ability to see, talk, move, smell and think will be affected by CNS. If a patient is suffering from neurodegenerative disease, there will be an impact on the family and society as well. Hence, early diagnosis will help in offering the best treatment to overcome the condition. In most of the cases, the condition can be managed even though there is no permanent cure for those conditions.
In some cases, you can get an infection due to bites from deer ticks and this is known as Lyme disease. This typically happens when you are moving around in open forest areas and the ticks can be stuck to the grass in that area. They are very small and you can almost miss them when you see them with the naked eye. The Borrelia Burgdorferi bacterium infects the ticks and they can pass on the infection to your body when they bite you during your outdoor activities. Some of the symptoms are rashes, etc. in the joints combined with flu-like symptoms. In many cases, the symptoms may not show up immediately and you may notice them after a few weeks. Timely treatment can effectively cure the problem and you will not get severe complications out of this infection.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
- The symptoms of Lyme disease can occur even at a later stage after the initial bite and you have to carefully watch for rashes and other common symptoms.
- The rash slowly starts spreading from the affected area and it can grow a few inches around the affected area. Even though it is not painful and does not itch in usual cases, it is obviously visible with a red patch in the affected area.
- Arthritis and joint pain are common when you are suffering from this problem and it can also lead to shooting pains in some cases.
- It is also common to get tired and fatigue is easily the most visible symptom of this disease.
- When timely treatment is not provided, the disease can spread to other regions and you will notice similar rashes in other regions of the body.
- Some people also complain about pain in the joints and there can be swelling in the area for no reason. This can also shift from one particular region to another within a few days.
- In extreme cases, it can even lead to inflammation in the brain region and even lead to facial paralysis. However, this can be temporary and it often affects the muscular movements.
- Some people also develop irregular heartbeat and other problems related to the heart a few days after the infection. Others may even develop hepatitis and inflammation of the eyes in this period.
Causes of Lyme Disease
Getting a bite from an infected deer tick is the major cause of Lyme disease. In many areas, animals can carry such ticks on their bodies and this can move to different places and even reach your home through your pets or due to your exposure to such an environment. The Borrelia burgdorferi and the borrelia mayonii bacteria cause the most number of such cases in the United States. It can easily get into the bloodstream after the bite and you can get infected within a couple of days. Always watch out for the signs of Lyme disease so that you can easily get treatment at the right time.
Diagnosis of Lyme Disease
-Physical examination: This is done immediately after a suspected bite or when some symptoms like rashes are observed in the body. If this coincides with exposure to outdoor areas, you will need to tell them specifically to your doctor so that it does not lead to confusion about being symptoms of other diseases. Once the rashes are identified, you may be given some antibiotics to treat them in the initial stages. At this stage, it may still not be confirmed that it is Lyme disease and general antibiotics are given to control the symptoms. When symptoms persist, further diagnosis with blood tests may be required to determine the infection.
- Blood Tests: Blood tests are usually done immediately after the bite or when symptoms begin to appear within one week after the infection. Apart from this, a blood test may again be conducted after a few weeks as the infection may show up after many weeks and the development of antibodies in the body will indicate the presence of Lyme infection. In many cases, the first blood test may show negative results and the second one may show positive for this infection.
- ELISA Test: This is the standard test adopted in the early stages and it helps determine the antibodies for burgdorferi. When antibodies are present in the body, it confirms the infection. In many cases, this test is repeated again after a few weeks when the first one shows negative results.
- Western Blot Test: This test further confirms the presence of antibodies for the burgdorferi and doctors are able to begin the treatment process after this step. It is usually done twice in many cases to confirm the results within a few weeks gap as the infection may show up later in such cases.
Prevention of Lyme Disease
It is important to prevent Lyme disease as it can create various complications with your health. You need to understand that by avoiding exposure to areas affected with deer ticks, you will be able to drastically reduce the chances of getting this infection.
- When you are moving in such areas, it makes sense to cover yourself completely and avoid exposing any part of your body to the open air. Remember that these ticks cannot fly and they usually stay attached to some bushes or grass and hop onto your dress or exposed body parts when you get in touch with them. If you are carrying animals like dogs or cats for outdoor activities, be extra cautious about them as they can easily catch such infection in quick time.
- The biggest problem with Lyme infection is that the ticks that cause the infection are very tiny and you will find it very difficult to identify them with the naked eye. For this reason, you should always use insect repellants as per the advice of your doctor and keep yourself safe during outdoor activities. You can even use some repellants on your clothing to completely avoid the ticks from getting close to you during outdoor camping events.
- If you have an open space in your backyard, you should take measures to tick-proof them so that they cannot get inside your home. When you clear the bushes and leaves in the backyard, you will be removing the ticks in a major way and they will not find a convenient place to stay in your backyard.
- After coming back from an outing in the forest area, you should immediately change your dress and wash them thoroughly so that any ticks that might have got attached to your dress will not survive in your home. In the same way, even you should have a good shower and clean yourself completely and this will kill any ticks that are attached to your body without your notice.
- If you notice any ticks attached to your body, be very careful about it and remove it carefully. If you are not able to do it yourself, you must approach a doctor who will do it for you and they will even apply some antiseptic on the affected area. Remember that when you are able to remove them within a few hours after the bite, you will be safe from infection. Following these guidelines will help in the prevention of Lyme disease in the future.
Treatment for Lyme Disease
- Oral antibiotics: when the disease is still in the early stages, oral antibiotics are given to reduce the symptoms and this gives effective results in most of the cases. This should be taken for a couple of weeks to notice any significant results and many people get cured in this stage.
- Intravenous antibiotics: When the oral antibiotics are not effective, your doctor may suggest you use such methods and this will help you to overcome the infection in quick time. It can, however, cause some side effects in some people and this will go away after the treatment is completed.
Complications of Lyme Disease
- When treatment is not provided at the right time, you may face a lot of complications related to the functioning of the brain. This can be dangerous and you need to get proper treatment for the infection. Never neglect the symptoms and be careful about them as they may show up very late after getting a bite. For this reason, you should always use protective gear when venturing outside in the forest areas.
- In most cases, the neurological complications of this infection include impaired memory and this is common among elderly patients. Apart from that, some patients may also notice cognitive defects and this will be obvious when the infection has reached the advanced stage.
- In extreme cases, it can even lead to facial palsy and this condition can paralyze a part of the face and it usually gets tilted towards one side. However, the effect may be temporary in most cases and many patients eventually recover from this condition after a few months.
- Some patients also experience an irregular heartbeat and this can affect the functioning of other vital organs of the body. You should consult your doctor when you are suffering from such symptoms and get timely treatment to avoid further complications.
- The most common complication of Lyme disease is the joint inflammation and this affects the knees of the patients. It can cause extreme pain and this will last for a few weeks without any other reason. When you are facing this issue, your doctors will provide suitable medication to handle the symptoms and try to reduce the infection using antibiotics.
Myths about Lyme Disease
Myth #1. Lyme disease always produces rashes:
This is completely false and it may not produce a rash in every situation. However, other symptoms may persist and you need to visit your doctor to get a thorough examination before you can rule out the chances of infection.
Myth #2. Negative tests mean no disease:
Just because you have got negative results in the first test does not mean that you are safe from infection. In most cases, the symptoms can show up very late a few weeks after the initial bite and you need to take a second blood test to confirm the results.
Myth# 3.No risk of Lyme disease in our area:
Many people have the misconception that only certain areas are prone to Lyme infection and you may be safe when such infections are not found in your area. While this is true to a certain extent, you cannot be always sure about this and always go for proper treatment whenever you notice symptoms in your body. Remember that the ticks causing Lyme infection can travel through animals and other means and reach an area to cause infection.
Myth# 4.Lyme disease will not reappear:
This is not entirely true and you can get Lyme disease again when you are infected with the bacteria. For this reason, you should always be careful when you venture into places that are prone to such attacks. Make sure that you wear proper gear and protect yourself from such exposure. You should also understand that every bite from a deer tick will not cause Lyme disease and only a bite from the infected tick will cause such problems. However, you should leave nothing to chance and always follow the precautionary measures to avoid the infection in the future.
If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, you need not worry as treatment is readily available and most people get cured within a couple of months. Even the symptoms are usually not severe and it is usually not fatal even in advanced stages of infection. However, the best thing you can do is to prevent the infection by covering yourself completely when you are out in open areas which are prone to Lyme infection. In this way, you can easily avoid the infection in your family. You should also be careful about your pets as they can catch the infection easily and bring the ticks to your home. When you notice any symptoms, approach your doctor and get timely treatment to cure the infection. In most cases, they do not cause severe complications and you need not worry about fatal complications due to this infection.
Osteomyelitis is the term used for an infection in the bone or bone marrow. The infection is a result of microbes reaching a vulnerable portion of the bone. The infections result in inflammation of the bone causing severe pain and hinders the patient’s healthy functionality of the body region. While the condition is rare, it is very serious and can cause long-term detrimental effects if not treated properly. In this article we’ll explore the various symptoms of Osteomyelitis, to help you identify the problem and also take precautionary steps against it. We have also compiled steps for treatments.
Osteomyelitis is not limited to any specific age group and can affect anyone under certain conditions. In children, it is known to affect growth area bones such as the tailbone of the legs and arms. In adults, the infection can spread to any bone of the body.
In the event that you are uncertain of the possibility of osteomyelitis in your body or that of a family member, here are some symptoms of osteomyelitis you can check for.
- The most common symptom of osteomyelitis is severe pain and redness in the area of infection
- The area may also showcase tenderness in the tissue.
- Irritability and lethargy can suggest the possibility of osteomyelitis in young children if coupled with the possibility of registered pain and redness in the area of infection.
- Fever and chills may also be experienced by the patient as an onset of osteomyelitis.
- The infected area would also be warm with signs of swelling and redness in the early days of the infection.
- Sometimes it may be difficult to identify, due to a lack of visible signs of osteomyelitis or related symptoms, or a challenge of distinguishing the symptoms from other possible problems. In such cases, it is best to schedule a consultation with a specialized physician.
- Certain bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus is known to travel through the bloodstream and can cause a bone infection. The spread of the bacteria through the body can cause infections in multiple areas. Most commonly these bacteria enter the body through the opening of a severe cut or wound. Especially in injuries where the bone breaks and is exposed directly, have a high possibility of developing Osteomyelitis.
- Another prime cause is the possible entrance of the organisms when you are under the knife. Surgeries such as Hip replacements or bone fracture repair can cause such infections. Usually, surgeons take precautions to decontaminate the operating rooms prior to such surgeries. Although in the past Osteomyelitis has been diagnosed in patients who had recently undergone surgery.
- Illness and infections in other parts of the body that have hampered the immune system can lead to Osteomyelitis if the germ like organisms finds the path through the bloodstream to the deeper recesses of bone matter. While several of the organisms that are known to cause Osteomyelitis are present in other parts of the body such as the skin or in the lungs, they are unlikely to find a path to bones in normal conditions. Only in the event that the body is unable to produce the right protection and the organisms are left unchecked can the condition materialize into an infection.
- Patients that use prosthetics can be susceptible to such an infection as amputation sites are vulnerable to osteomyelitis if proper precautions are not taken.
How is it diagnosed?
- In the event that your doctor or physician suspects Osteomyelitis, she may conduct a series of tests to determine the extent and condition of the problem. Sometimes a simple bone x-ray might be sufficient to determine the appropriate course of action for an experienced physician although in certain conditions doctors may need a series of tests conducted.
- A blood-work test is common to identify the organism causing the problem in the bloodstream, in certain cases, a doctor may need to conduct other tests to identify bacteria such as a throat swab test, urine test or stool culture test.
- In more difficult cases the physicians would often conduct detailed scans of the infected area to reveal cellular and metabolic activity levels in the area. MRI scans and bone biopsies are also done for a more detailed look into the area of concern.
- The best prevention is to keep safe against harmful bacteria. Keeping yourself clean and conscious of being in clean areas, will often greatly reduce the possibility of you or a family member contracting an infection. With respect to cuts and deep wounds, make sure to always thoroughly wash the injury under running water, flushing out any bacteria that may have entered the area. Disinfect wounds and properly bandage them with sterile bandages. One must be especially careful with children who have had deep injuries as their bones and immune systems are in the early stages and are more vulnerable to infection.
- If you have a condition of chronic osteomyelitis, make sure to inform your doctor of your medical history and schedule regular visits to keep things in check. For patients with diabetes, be mindful of feet, joints and other bone areas. An early detection of osteomyelitis can be significant in ensuring a speedy recovery through treatment.
- Osteomyelitis prevention can be significant in keeping you and your family members from contracting such infections. It will also ensure you are able to avoid surgeries and possible setbacks caused by infection.
Since Osteomyelitis is a severe condition of infection in bone areas, it requires patients to undergo surgery and medications may be required for several days post surgery. Depending on the situation and severity of the infection, hospitalization of a prolonged period may be recommended by physicians to keep the patient under observation.
The surgery would require a variety of procedures to remove infected or dead portions of the bone. Depending on the severity of the infection, the osteomyelitis surgery can include a mix of the following procedures:
- Removal of fluids that are accumulated in the infected area. This is usually done to reduce swelling by removing pus and other fluids that have accumulated in response to the infection.
- Debridement or removal of bone is a procedure where the surgeon would extract diseased bone. If tissues surrounding the diseased bone also show signs of infection, they may also be removed.
- In the event of a debridement procedure, blood flow will need to restored and surgeons will undertake using tissue from other parts of the body to fill the gap left by the removal of the diseased bone and tissue. The surgeon may also opt to place temporary fillers prior to a bone or tissue grafting procedure that would help restore the damaged tissue and bone matter.
- In some cases, depending on the spread of the infection, doctors may remove surgical plates and screws placed during a previous treatment.
- In severe cases where it isn’t possible to save the infected diseased bone, doctors may be compelled to opt for amputation of the limb to stop the infection from spreading to any other regions of the body.
- In some cases, if the infection is still in a nascent stage and the doctor has identified the bacteria causing the problem, she may recommend antibiotics that would fight the bacteria and thereby limit the need of surgery. While hospitalization might still be needed as these antibiotics will most likely be administered intravenously.
Risk Factors and Complications-
- Since osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, it can cause reappearances. In most cases, surgery is successful in eliminating the problem although certain cases may be harder to treat.
- Low immune system disorders, severe diabetes or another issue in the blood circulation can cause complication for osteomyelitis treatment.
- Patients with conditions of chronic osteomyelitis need to maintain extra precautions as symptoms of osteomyelitis may have gone but can resurface, sometimes even persist of several years undetected.
- Children and adults over the age of 50 years are susceptible to acute osteomyelitis and should undergo tests and regular consultations with physicians especially if any of the symptoms are being detected. As mentioned earlier, the surest way to fight the problem is to spot it early on and undergo thorough treatment.
Most cases of osteomyelitis are treatable and subject to the severity may take varied time for the patients to heal. It is often recommended to take to treatment as aggressively as possible to ensure the patient fights off the infection as early as possible. Amputations in worst case scenarios can significantly change a person’s physiological and psychological operations and thereby it’s best to approach cases of osteomyelitis positively from the beginning and ensure all measures are taken to nip the problem in the bud.