Treatment of Tetracycline Stains
Asthma Management Program
Stitching Of Wounds Procedure
Hiv Prophylaxis Post Exposure
Dressings Of Wounds Procedure
Management of Surrogacy
Treatment of Migraine Treatment
Removal Of Stitches Procedure
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Health Screening For Women
Health Check Up
Health Screening For Men
Treatment of Shin Splints
Patient Review Highlights
Vitamins are extremely important for proper functioning of various body systems. Vitamin D3 plays a very crucial role in the proper functioning of bones and joints. Deficiency of this vitamin is quite common, but can be identified and managed easily. Read on to know more about its functions, causes of deficiency, symptoms, and management.
Function: Vitamin D3 is essential for the absorption of calcium from the food that is consumed. A decrease in the amount of vitamin D3 leads to poor calcium absorption, resulting in thin, soft, brittle bones.
Causes: Some of the possible causes of vitamin D3 deficiency (and ways to manage them) are listed below:
Reduced intake: People with a strict vegan diet may be consuming reduced amounts of this important chemical. Most natural food sources are animal based including fish, fish oils, fortified milk, egg yolks and beef liver.
Limited sun exposure: People who spend a lot of time indoors are likely to have this deficiency. People who wear sunscreen constantly, wear long robes for religious reasons, live in the polar areas, upper/lower hemispheres are all prone to vitamin D3 deficiency.
Darker complexion: The body’s ability to make vitamin D3 when exposed to the sun is reduced if there is more melanin in the skin.
Obesity: Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells and people with BMI of more than 30 have a vitamin deficiency.
Symptoms: While some people may go completely asymptomatic with this condition, others could develop significant symptoms.
Bone pain and aches: When there is less calcium getting incorporated into the bones, pains and aches leading to fatigue are common.
Depression: The areas of the brain that regulate mood contain vitamin D receptors, and low levels of this vitamin can lead to depression. They are also at higher risk of developing cognitive conditions like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
Gut problems: Vitamin D is fat soluble and in people with stomach conditions like Crohn’s or IBD, the gut functioning is altered and so vitamin D absorption is reduced.
Increased risk of heart disease: Both the risk of developing heart disease and the severity of the disease went up considerably when there is vitamin D deficiency. This is given their role in controlling inflammation and improving immune function.
Lesser chances of surviving cancer: In patients with colorectal cancer, lymphoma, and breast cancer, increasing vitamin D levels improved cancer prognosis by 4%. The chances of developing prostate cancer are also increased in patients with vitamin D3 deficiency.
Management: Providing the required amounts of vitamin D3 through diet and supplements is the best way to manage this. Check with your doctor to know the optimal levels and plan for replacement accordingly.
The tiny mosquito can pose a lot of health issues. While malaria was the only dreaded disease until some time ago, the incidence of chikungunya is constantly on the rise. In fact, the nonspecific symptoms and absence of vaccination make it extremely difficult to prevent and diagnose this in the early stages.
Causes: First described in the African continent (Tanzania), the word chikungunya means “to walk bent over” in the Makonde or Kimakonde language. This appearance is because of the effect on bones, leading to severe bone and joint pains. More than 90% of the people who are bitten by the infected mosquito develop symptoms.
Chikungunya is a member of the Togaviridae family and is transmitted by bites of the infected female mosquito. In rare cases, the infection can spread through blood transfusions of the infected person.
After entering the bloodstream, it divides and multiplies rapidly in different types of cells including epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and connective tissue cells. These produce the symptoms including the rashes and the joint pains.
Symptoms: The challenge with chikungunya is that there is no specific, telltale symptom indicative of the condition. The patient develops nonspecific symptoms as below, somewhere between 4 to 7 days after the infected mosquito bite.
High fever (as high as 40 degrees Celsius)
Pain involving multiple joints which can be debilitating
Swelling around the joints
Though the disease is not fatal, it can be quite limiting. The fever and other symptoms may disappear within a week, but the joint pains can last up to 6 months to a year.
Diagnosis: A blood test is the most diagnostic test for confirming the disease. Dengue fever and Zika virus need to be ruled out, as their presentation is very similar.
Treatment: There is no definitive treatment for this condition and it is mostly symptomatic.
The patient is advised rest to recover from the fever and fatigue
Pushing fluids, including juices and electrolytes is recommended to prevent dehydration
Fever needs to be managed with antipyretic medications
Joint pains are managed with nonsteroidal painkillers
Avoid aspirin as it increases the tendency to bleed
Physiotherapy is recommended to improve severe bone/joint pains to improve mobility and reduce swelling
Check with your doctor to see if your regular medications need to be revisited
There is no vaccine to prevent chikungunya, though virus like particles that can be a potential vaccine are in the final stages of trials. Prevention of mosquito bites is also highly recommended as an important step in controlling the disease. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
If you are in an area which has a lot of mosquitoes, any fever that is not subsiding in a couple of days is a cause for concern as it can be due to dengue. It is one of the dreadful diseases doing the rounds in the recent years and when someone complains of fever and joint pain problem, the first question we ask if they got checked for dengue. This is caused by a virus that is carried by an infected mosquito.
The blood is made up of 3 types of cells mainly that are in a liquid medium called the plasma. The red blood cells are the oxygen-carrying cells and the white blood cells fight infection and provide immunity. The third type are the platelets, they are smaller than the other two and help in blood clotting. With dengue fever, both the white blood cell count and the platelet count are decreased. Normal platelet count in the body ranges from 1.5 to 4 lacs and in patients with dengue; this can go down to as low as 20,000 to 40,000. This is because of the following:
- Dengue suppresses bone marrow, which is the platelet-producing area, leading to decreased platelet count.
- Blood cells affected by dengue virus damage platelets, leading to their drastic fall in numbers
- Antibodies produced in dengue also lead to massive destruction of platelets
Patient presents with nonspecific symptoms including a high fever that does not subside, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, headache, nausea, and severe muscular and joint pain. The eye pain and the joint pain lead to the suspicion of the dengue fever. Symptoms develop after 4 to 7 days after the bite. The fever lasts for about 5 to 7 days and is followed by a prolonged period of fatigue, joint pains, body pain, and rashes (learn more about Painful Rashes).
For the sake of confirming the diagnosis, the doctor will run some lab tests. These include testing for antibodies IgG and IgM, PCR testing to check the virus and a complete blood count. This will reveal the decrease in the white blood cells and the platelets to a significant degree. Whether or not a person requires platelet transfusion will be decided by the doctor based on the person’s age, immunity levels and severity of the disease.
There isn't a particular level below which a person would require platelet transfusion. In aged people and with people who have other chronic diseases, platelet transfusion may be required even if the blood count is about 50,000. The doctor will decide this based on the patient’s health. The right thing to do is to go for a medical consultation and discuss your situation with the doctor and identify what needs to be done for your condition specifically.
Jaundice is a medical condition, which is characterized by the yellow coloring of the skin and eyes. It generally occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin in your system. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment formed in the liver by the breakdown of red blood cells. It normally gets discharged by the liver along with other dead red blood cells. So if you are suffering from jaundice, it usually indicates that you have some serious problems regarding the functioning of your liver, pancreas, or gallbladder.
Signs and symptoms:
Signs and symptoms commonly associated with jaundice include:
- Yellow-tinted eyes and skin
- The whites of your eyes may turn orange or brown in color
- Dark urine
- Pale stools
- High fatigue and vomiting (in severe cases)
Jaundice, as mentioned above, occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin and the liver is incapable of metabolizing it along with the old red blood cells. It is more common in infants than in adults, because their livers are not fully developed. However, it is also a frequent occurrence in adults and could be a potential sign of any of the following problems:
- Liver infection
- Scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis
- Alcohol abuse
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Blood disorders, like hemolytic anemia
- Parasites in the liver
- Abnormal reactions to or overdose of medication
Diagnostic tests may include:
- Jaundice is diagnosed primarily by taking blood tests, to help measure the amount of bilirubin as well as to trace the presence of other diseases like Hepatitis.
- Liver function tests in order to make comparisons between levels of certain proteins and enzymes when the liver is in good shape and when it is damaged.
- Liver biopsies, where samples of liver tissue are first extracted and later examined under a microscope.
- Imaging studies, consisting of abdominal ultrasounds, computed tomography scans and magnetic resonance images (MRI) tests.
We are bombarded with advertisements of how 'good mothers' never fail to have their children use antibacterial soap as a habit. But does it really work? There have been several reports of potentially harmful ingredients being used in these antibacterial soaps and yet their sale continues unhindered. Let's dive in to get the dope behind these soaps.
What are antibacterial soaps?
A drug called 'triclosan' was originally used strictly in hospital environments. In the 1990s the commercial manufacture of antibacterial soaps started with this ingredient in its center and fear mongering and advertisements pushed this into a whooping $1 billion industry. There is murky data on the FDA approval on triclosan usage and guidelines which are leaving us only with information the manufacturers propagate about it. But with enough information out there on the internet, should you wait for manufacturers to prove its effectiveness or make a judgment call? Here are a few facts to help:
1. It is as effective as conventional soap: There are countless studies and researches done in the last four decades that proves that antibacterial soaps are not more effective than regular soaps and the added triclosan doesn't proved any special health benefits. These tests measure the amount of bacteria in one's hand before and after usage. But the real question is do antibacterial soaps reduce infection rates and the answer to that question is yet to be proven.
2. It has the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria: The main benefit of using these products is its bacteria resistant formula. With frequent usage, some bacteria gain resistance to the chemicals. Eventually, while the soap kills off regular bacteria, the resistant bacteria can spiral into a local or global threat.
3. It can disrupt endocrine functions: Triclosan closely resembles the thyroid hormone and can bid to its receptor sites. This can lead to many problems like infertility, artificially-advanced early puberty, obesity, and cancer. This problem has been found during animal testing and yet not proven for humans. With so much threat on the loose, would it matter how effective or ineffective the antibacterial soap is against bacteria?
4. It can lead to problems in children: At a growing age, children are developing their immune system and natural resistance to diseases. Prolonged exposure to antibacterial soap can result in reduced exposure to bacteria which prevention the proper development of the child's immune system.
5. It is bad for the environment too: The more triclosan we use, the more gets flushed down the drain. The problem arises because triclosan isn't fully treated at sewage treatment plans and enters water bodies where it disrupts algae's ability to perform photosynthesis. The spin ball effect reaches all sea animals and plants and eventually comes back to attack us in ways we are yet to find out.
The solution to this problem is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is effective on both bacteria and viruses. If you are wondering how you can add bacteria resistance to your family without any added harm, consult a doctor today.
Today is World Health Day, let's see what is affecting health the most, world over. Our lifestyles, while full of luxuries that can make our lives easier and better in a lot of ways have actually increased our chances of suffering from a plethora of related health conditions. A lot of the diseases we suffer from today are either caused by sedentary lifestyles or the immense pollution that plagues the modern world.
Here are 4 factors of a modern day lifestyle that are ruining your health.
1. Binging on processed and junk foods
Apart from being high in sugar, salt, and fat content, processed foods are chief sources of synthetic food additives. Preservatives, artificial colors, and flavor enhancers are used in most processed foods. Besides the fact that packaged foods are stale, most of them do not go through proper tests to determine their long-term health risks. Usage of various types of chemicals and artificial additives do their part in worsening the case.
2. Use of tablets, computers, and cell phones
One often hears how cell phones lead to disastrous traffic accidents. But most people are unaware that excessive use of cell phones can lead to ear cancer. Besides, it has been found that the signals emitted for telecommunication purposes lead to stunted growths of trees and other agricultural abnormalities, thereby affecting the quality of the food you consume.
Moreover, computers and tablets are making people more engrossed in a virtual world rather than reality, giving rise to feelings of alienation and depression. In fact, addiction to social media is fast becoming one of the major factors of depression amongst teenagers and young adults.
Also, addiction to technological gadgets is fostering laziness in children of today, making them prone to obesity and associated health risks. Children these days rather play games on their phones than play outside, which also hampers their social and interpersonal skills in a negative manner.
3. Modern transport
The polluting effects of vehicles are a well-discussed fact. Fumes emitted from vehicles can give rise to respiratory syndromes. But besides that, cars, bikes and other means of transport are making people lethargic. Instead of walking short distances, people prefer to use automobiles. Most people tend to use elevators and escalators instead of using the stairs. These lead to less physical activities and decreased physical health.
4. Long working hours
Long working hours are another aspect of a modern lifestyle that is leading to a number of health complications in individuals. Not only is sitting long hours in front of the computer screen bad for your eyes, it's bad for your posture too and can give rise to severe neck and back pain along with headaches. Moreover, long working hours add to stress levels, thereby affecting your overall health and making you prone to diseases such as hypertension and heart diseases.