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Patient Review Highlights
With changing life scenarios, parents do not have time to spend with their children. The grandparents often fill this gap now. They still have the time and patience to listen to what happened on a daily basis, and are not caught in the whirlwind of having a task list that never ends with the day.
In a way, grand children are very closely bound to their grandparents and are expected to take care of them, when required. In fact, stats show that about 80% of primary caregivers for people over age of 60 are grandchildren. Their average age is about 27(either gender). There are specific advantages of this care giving relationship for both the grandparent and the grandchild.
- There is no hurry: Most of us want a pair of ears to listen to what we have to say. Whether it is the exciting college trip you had or the office dinner you just returned from, we all want to share it. So, in this era where parents are not as available as they were earlier, grandparents fill the gap. They are not just eagerly waiting for you to return, but they seem to have the time to hear you out and feel happy (or sad) about it. This leaves one with a great feeling.
- Been there, done that: Though they have had a different lifestyle, they have “been there, done that,” perhaps in different ways. The definition of fun might have changed, but fun was always there. If you have the time, hear out their version of fun. You would be left thinking that you are not anywhere close to the fun they had.
- Life is the best teacher: The experiences they share will probably be some of life’s best lessons, which cannot be gathered by reading any number of books or TED talks.
- Safety: While there definitely are care giving or assisted living homes, having them at home and taking care of them provides the additional safety net. There are family people around, and if required, readily available.
- A helping hand: Caring for grandparents does not always relate to doing things for them, it is a mutual thing, and they feel equally good and happy that they are able to contribute in some small way in your daily life. You can always offer to help, but very often, their energy levels are quite high, unless they are ill, and they are so happy doing something for you.
- Strengthens the bond: Needless to say, spending time with a person makes the relationship strong and lasting. Grandparents assume a very special place, and caring for them leaves one with a very good and satisfied feeling. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.
HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus is the lentivirus which causes HIV infection and leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
The symptoms of HIV vary from person to person. There are three main stages of HIV infections, where each stage has different symptoms.
Here are some facts about the three stages of HIV infections along with the accompanying symptoms.
Acute HIV Infection Stage: This is the first stage of HIV infection and after three to four weeks of becoming HIV infected, people experience symptoms, which are similar to flu. This flu usually does not last more than two weeks.
- Rashes on the body
- A sore throat
- Swelling of different glands
- Joint and muscle pain
- Improper digestion
These symptoms appear and indicate that the body is reacting to the HIV. Infected cells circulate throughout the blood, and the immune system produces HIV antibodies in order to attack the viruses. This process is termed as seroconversion, and it takes place within 45 days of getting infected. The levels of virus in your blood are quite high during this stage.
Clinical latency stage: This is the second stage of HIV infection, which follows the early stage. This stage is also known as chronic HIV stage. During this stage, HIV is active, but is reproduced at a very low level. People in this stage may not receive symptoms related to HIV or may get mild indications.
In case of people who do not take medicines for HIV treatment, this stage lasts for a long period. Some people, however, progress faster through this stage. Medicines should be taken to keep the virus in check. During this stage, people can transmit HIV to others very easily in spite of not experiencing any symptoms. People who are on medication stay suppressed virally and have a low level of HIV in their blood, and the risk of transmission is less.
Symptomic HIV infection or AIDS stage: This is the third stage of HIV infection, which is characterized by severe damage to the immune system of an HIV-virus affected person. A patient is likely to have serious infections and gets bacterial or fungal diseases. The infections are termed as opportunistic infections. The patient is now said to be having AIDS.
The symptoms of this stage are:
- Loss of weight
- Sweating at night
- Fevers and persistent coughing
- Problems in the mouth and skin
- Infections on a regular basis
- Illness and development of other diseases.
HIV infection affects the body via three stages and leads to AIDS in the third stage. Each stage is accompanied by several symptoms.
Chickenpox or varicella is a type of viral infection that causes itchy rashes accompanied by tiny fluid-filled blisters. It is highly communicable to those who have not experienced this disease earlier or have not been immunized against it through vaccination.
The vaccine against chickenpox is a shot protecting anyone, who has already contracted the disease. It is known as the varicella vaccine since chicken pox is triggered by the virus called varicella-zoster. The vaccine is prepared from a living but a weakened virus.
Why would you require a chicken pox virus?
- The risk behind the condition aggravating into something life threatening is high among adults, infants and people possessing a weak immunity system as they are prone to developing serious complications as well. There is no way you can predict who would be the next prey.
- The illness is extremely contagious and can get transmitted either through air while coughing or sneezing or by direct contact especially with the fluid present in the chicken pox blisters. For this reason, you need to stay segregated until and unless all your blisters have dried up or crusted over. The illness may induce itchy rashes all over your body along with fussiness, cough and headaches.
- The vaccine is recommended for all adults and adolescents who have not been infected by chicken pox ever earlier. A vaccine called MMRV offers a combined protection against varicella, rubella, mumps and measles.
- The vaccine has to be administered in two shots. However the medicines are not devoid of mild side effects,for instance, swelling in the region where you have been injected alongside mild rashes.
Who should not opt for the vaccine?
- Pregnant women since the effect of the vaccine on your fetus is yet to be unraveled
- People who are allergic to neomycin and gelatin ( a gelatin-free varicella vaccine is actually available)
- People suffering from diseases caused due to a weak immunity system or taking high dosage of steroids
- Cancer patients who have to be treated with chemotherapy, drugs and X-rays
- People who have had a blood transfusion in about five months before receiving the shot. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus, the endometrium grows outside (endometrial implant). It commonly involves ovaries, bowel or tissues lining your pelvis. The main symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility. While chronic pain exists throughout, it tends to aggravate during menstruation and / or sex. Though the cause is not entirely clear, women with a family history of the condition need to be extra cautious. Endometriosis is normally detected by its symptoms combined with a medical imaging. Though the growth is not generally cancerous, a biopsy is recommended to eliminate doubts.
The condition of endometriosis is attached with social and psychological effects as it affects a woman's child bearing ability. Most minds race anxiously as to what the surgeon might find and will your body heal after the procedure. Here are some tips to prepare for your endometriosis laparoscopy
- Before the surgery: Read up as much as possible about your condition and note down questions you want to ask your doctor. Get details about the entire procedure and how the doctor is treating your specific case. Having knowledge will help you stay calm and focused. Next, gear your home for the process. Stock your fridge with quick heat homemade meals. It's best for you and the family to have healthy food than the store bought preservative laden food. Clean your home, change your sheets and purchase some loose fit clothing for later use. Last but not the least, stock up on some reading material that will come handy during your rest period.
- On day of surgery: Do not eat or drink anything from 12 midnight until the time of your surgery. You may also need the unpleasant enema procedure during your prep. Remove your nail polish and leave your jewellery, watch and valuables at home. Shower and get to the hospital early to get on with the forms you'll need to fill. The procedure requires anesthesia so do discuss your allergies or any concerns you may have with this aspect of the procedure. Once you are set with you IV and anesthesia, the doctor takes over to do what they do best cure you.
- The procedure: a small incision is made near the belly button and the abdomen is filled with CO2 gas which lifts it away from other organs. During the laparoscopy, the doctor examines the pelvic organs, looking for obvious and atypical endometriosis lesions as well as endometriomas (endometriosis'filled cysts),adhesions, and scarring. He may then remove the lesions to send to a lab for biopsy
- After surgery: You'll most likely wake up groggy in the recovery room after your surgery. You may feel some pain as you come around but if it's a day procedure, you'll be able to leave as soon as you feel ready.
Although pregnancy may temporarily suppress the symptoms of endometriosis, it does not eradicate the disease. The symptoms will almost always return after the baby is born. If you are suffering from this painful condition and want to seek help, you can consult here.
Insulin is the most common treatment prescribed for people affected with diabetes. Diabetes is condition where high amounts of glucose prevail in the blood for an extended period of time. However, there are some drugs that offer an alternative to insulin in treating diabetes, which are:
- Liraglutide: Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drug that causes the body to release greater amounts of insulin so as to facilitate the movement of glucose from the blood to the cells. People with type 2 diabetes generally use this treatment. It slows the digestion process and can cause symptoms of headache and nausea.
- Pramlintide: It's an artificially produced version of amylin. It is taken by both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients, facilitates slower digestion of food and therefore, controls release of sugar in the blood. It can cause tiredness and nausea.
- Dulaglutide:This treatment is for people affected with type 2 diabetes and it is administered once a week. It causes more insulin to be released and pass the glucose to the cells. It can cause loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal cramps as side effects.
- Albiglutide: This treatment facilitates pancreas to release insulin and limits the glucagon hormone production. It is used by type 2 diabetes patients who have not taken well to other treatments. The side effects are skin reaction, respiratory tract infection and nausea.
- Exenatide: It is a drug that causes pancreas to release insulin that facilitates movement of glucose to cells. It is a treatment for type 2 diabetes and it restricts release of glucagon in the body. The possible side effects are acidity, constipation and vomiting.
Related Tip: "Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes"
The question, "are vitamins vital" is in fact a rhetorical question, one that answers for itself. Vitamins are organic compounds and important nutrients, which are required by human beings in appropriate quantities. They provide a host of benefits, affecting metabolism, digestion as well as immunity and are imperative for the existence and survival of human beings. Few reasons that establish their importance are:
- Digestive system: The digestive system, like the rest of the body, requires important minerals and vitamins for proper functioning. Your body requires ample amount of vitamin B and vitamin C to improve and maintain digestive health. In fact, folate acid is required by the body to prevent you from an impending danger of colon cancer. At the same time, vitamin B is also responsible for breaking down the carbohydrates and converting them into energy.
- Boosting the immunity system and eyesight: The proper functioning of your physical and mental health requires a sound immune system. The invasion of diseases can be deterred and treated on its own, if you have a proper functioning immune system. Vitamin A, found in carrots, pepper and sweet potato is very crucial for boosting the immune system, at the same time it helps repairing the cornea and improving the eyesight.
- Improving the nervous system: Vitamin B12 found in beef liver and octopus is very important in strengthening and improving the nervous system. If there is a deficiency of this vitamin in your body, chances are you will suffer from depression, anemia and even a potential threat to your central nervous system.
- Helps the heart and removes toxicity from the body: Among other advantages, vitamins are also responsible for maintaining the heart and preventing an accumulation of toxic substances in your body. Vitamin C, found primarily in fruits like oranges and lemons performs this function.
- Helps in losing weight: Certain food products like fish, chickpeas and chicken are rich in vitamin B6, which in turn help in boosting the metabolic rate and consequently in losing weight.
Related Tip: "3 Symptoms to Identify Vitamin D Deficiency?"