Doctors in Challa Hospitals
Treatment Of Acne/Pimples
Weight Loss Treatment
Treatment of Headaches
Treatment of Fever
Treatment of Hair Fall
Treatment of Red Eyes
Back Pain Treatment
Treatment of Masturbation Addiction
Treatment of Hair Loss
Treatment & Management of Cold
Treatment of Stomach Pain
Treatment of Body Weakness
Treatment of Joint Pain
Treatment of Female Hair Loss
Treatment of Dandruff
Treatment of Leg Pain
Prevention & Treatment of Diabetes
Treatment of Itching
Treatment of Greying Hair
Treatment of Sleeping Problems
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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.
Tachycardia is also known as tachyarrhythmia. It is a common type of heart rhythm disorder. For adults, the normal resting heart rate is between 60 - 100 beats per minute. In tachyarrhythmia, the heart rate is greater than 100 beats per minute. The heart rate generally rises during exercise or when you take a lot of stress. But in case of tachycardia, the heartbeats are faster than normal in the upper or lower chambers or both while at rest. Various treatment options are available including medications and surgery to treat the heart disorder of tachycardia. Sometimes, people are not able to recognise the symptoms of tachycardia. Tachycardia can lead to serious heart problems or complications if not treated properly on time or left untreated. Heart failure, stroke, sudden cardiac arrest, or death can be some of the serious complications of tachycardia. So, if you find out that you are suffering from the symptoms of tachycardia then should visit the doctor at the earliest for a diagnosis.
Due to the fast heartbeat rate, your heart is not able to pump the blood properly to your body. This can lead to various symptoms or signs of tachycardia:
- Pain in the chest
- Rapid pulse rate
- Heart palpitations
- Sudden weakness
Sometimes, people do not experience the symptoms at all. They get to know about it from their doctor after the physical examination or electrocardiogram test.
Tachycardia happens when something disrupts the normal electrical impulses that control the rate of pumping action of your heart. Many things can cause the problem of tachycardia. Sometimes, it becomes hard to recognise the exact cause of tachycardia. Check out the various causes of tachycardia:
- Drinking too much alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine can lead to the problem of tachycardia.
- Many heart diseases including heart valve disease, heart failure, heart muscle disease, coronary artery disease, tumours, or infections can lead to the tachycardia.
- Congenital heart conditions which are present at the time of birth can lead to tachycardia.
- Sudden stress or hypertension can cause tachycardia.
- Tachycardia can also happen due to smoking, the consumption of cocaine and some other recreational drugs.
- Side effects can happen due to the intake of certain medicines which can result in tachycardia.
- Electrolytes are the mineral-related substances required for conducting electrical impulses. The imbalance of electrolytes can lead to tachycardia.
- Overactive thyroid, high or low blood pressure, fever, anaemia, certain lung diseases and more are some of the other causes of tachycardia.
How is it diagnosed?
As soon as you experience any or some of the symptoms of tachycardia, you should visit the doctor. The doctor will conduct a physical examination in order to diagnose the problem. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and health habits. You may be asked to get some tests done including:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or ECK): It is a painless test done to diagnose tachycardia. The small sensors (electrodes) are attached to your chest or arms in order to record the electrical activity of your heart. This test helps your doctor to know what type of tachycardia you have and how problems in your heart leading to a fast heart rate. This test provides the information for a limited time period. If your doctor wants more information then he may ask you to use portable ECG devices.
- Holter Monitor: It is a portable ECG device. This device helps to record your heart's activity for around 24 hours. You can easily carry this device in your pocket. It can also be worn on a belt or shoulder strap. If your doctor wants to check the record of your heart activity for a longer period then he may ask you to use this device.
- Event Monitor: It is also a portable electrocardiogram device helps to monitor your heart activity for a few months or weeks. You wear this device for the whole day but it allows you to record the heart activity at the certain times. Whenever you experience the symptoms of fast heart rate, you have to push a button on the device in order to record. There are some monitors that automatically sense your abnormal heart rhythms and start recording your heart's activity. By the help of this, your doctor is able to see the activity of your heart at the time of your symptoms.
- Electrophysiological test: This non-surgical test is done to confirm the diagnosis and to pinpoint the location where the problem is. In this test, a doctor inserts electrodes tipped catheters into your arm, groin or neck and guided through blood vessels to various spots in your heart. Electrophysiologist does this test in the EP lab.
- Stress test: In the stress test, extra stress is given to you in order to check how your heart functions when it works hard. During this test, your doctor may ask you to do exercise may be on a treadmill or stationary bicycle and at the same time, your heart activity would be monitored.
- Tilt-table test: If the electrocardiogram and Holter monitor fail to diagnose the problem then your doctor may perform a tilt-table test. This test helps to monitor the rhythm of the heart, blood pressure, and heart rate.
- Blood tests: Blood tests help to know if thyroid problem or other substances leading to tachycardia.
- Chest X-ray: Chest X-ray is done to check if your heart is enlarged. By the help of this test, the still images of your heart and lungs are taken to check their condition.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of tachycardia. The problem of tachycardia can be prevented by making some changes in health habits including:
- You should quit smoking.
- The intake of beverages that contain caffeine should be reduced.
- You should reduce the consumption of alcohol.
- Exercise and weight loss can also reduce the risk of tachycardia.
- Avoid the situations that give you stress.
- Avoid having spicy and fatty food and stick to a healthy diet.
The treatment depends on the cause of your tachycardia. It also depends on your age and health record. In tachycardia, the treatment is given to slow down the fast heart rate and minimize the complications that can arise in the future. The following treatment options are available for the people suffering from tachycardia:
Ways to slow down a fast heartbeat:
- Vagal manoeuvres: It is an action performed to slow down your heart rate. Your doctor may ask you to perform this action during an episode of a fast heartbeat. The vagal nerve regulates your heartbeat and vagal manoeuvres affect this nerve. Manoeuvres include coughing, heaving as if you are having a bowel movement and putting an ice pack on the face.
- Medications: If vagal manoeuvres do not show any result then your doctor may give you an injection of an anti-arrhythmic medication for restoring the normal heart rate. Your doctor may also recommend you pill version of an anti-arrhythmic drug.
- Cardioversion: In this, an electric current is given to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. This helps to restore a normal heart rhythm. This treatment method is used when there is an emergency or vagal manoeuvres and medications do not work with your type of tachycardia.
Ways to prevent episodes of a fast heart rate:
- Catheter ablation: In this, doctor inserts catheters tipped with electrodes into your arm, neck or groin and guide them through the blood vessels to your heart. This method is used when an extra electrical pathway is the cause of increased heart rate.
- Medications: Your doctor may ask you to have anti-arrhythmic medications in pills version regularly to prevent a fast heart rate. Calcium channel blockers and beta blockers are the other types of drugs that may be prescribed by your doctor as an alternative to or in combination with anti-arrhythmic medications.
- Pacemaker: Pacemaker helps in treating some types of tachycardias. A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under your skin through a surgery. An electrical pulse is emitted by this device whenever it senses an abnormal heartbeat. The electrical pulse helps your heart to resume a normal beat.
- Implantable cardioverter: In this, a device of pager size named implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is implanted in your chest through a surgery. This device helps continuously to monitor your heartbeat, detect an increase in heart rate and deliver calibrated electrical shocks, if required, in order to restore a normal rhythm of the heart. This treatment is recommended if you are having a life-threatening tachycardia.
- Surgery: Doctors recommend surgery when all the other options do not work or when surgery is required to treat another heart disorder. Open-heart surgery is generally done to damage an extra electrical pathway leading to tachycardia. The maze procedure is another type of surgery in which a surgeon makes small cuts in heart tissue.
- Ways to prevent blood clots:
- Blood-thinning medication: Those people who suffer from the heart disorder of tachycardia have a great risk of developing a blood clot. A blood clot can cause a heart attack or stroke. For this purpose, your doctor may prescribe you blood thinners to reduce the risk of developing a blood clot.
The various complications that are associated with tachycardia are:
- Blood clots: This is one of the common complications of tachycardia. Due to tachycardia, the risk of developing blood clots increase. Blood clots formation can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
- Heart failure: If your condition of tachycardia is not controlled on time then it can make your heart weak. Weak heart increases the chance of heart failure. In heart failure, the heart does not pump the blood properly to all the organs of the body. Due to this, the body of the person can be affected from the left side, right side or both the sides.
- Sudden death: Sometimes, ventricular tachycardia can lead to sudden death.
- Other complications: The other complications of tachycardia are fainting, dizziness, tiredness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Myth #1: If your heart rate is higher than the normal resting heart rate then it means you are stressed out.
In tachycardia, the heart rate is greater than the normal resting rate. It is true that stress can spike your heart rate. But heart rate can also rise due to other causes including fever, anemia, thyroid disease, consumption of alcohol and beverages containing caffeine, smoking and more.
Tachycardia is a heart disorder in which the heart rate is higher than the normal resting heart rate. The normal resting heart rate is between 60 - 100 beats per minute for adults. People who suffer from tachycardia experience the heart rate of greater than 100 beats per minute. Sometimes, people are not able to recognize tachycardia as they do not experience the symptoms at all. Your doctor can help you to diagnose tachycardia through the physical examination and various tests. As soon as you experience any or some of the symptoms of tachycardia, you should reach out to the best doctor. Fever, high or low blood pressure, lung diseases, anemia, consuming alcohol, smoking, drinking beverages having caffeine, thyroid disease and various heart diseases can lead to tachycardia.
In medical terms, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly termed as GERD, is a prolonged recurrence of gastroesophageal reflux. It is a disorder in which the acid available in the stomach moves to the esophagus and retains there for a longer duration. Esophagus is a ring of muscle and is the part of the tube that connects the throat with the stomach. Gastroesophageal means something related to the esophagus and the stomach.
Reflux refers to flowing back or returning of some liquid or fluid from its expected place or position. So, GERD is defined as a condition in which the liquid (acid) flows back from the stomach to the esophagus and causes adverse effects. When the acid from the stomach reaches the esophagus, it may damage the vital tissues.
Most of us suffer from acidity often. In case an individual suffers from acidity for more than twice a week for a prolonged period, the condition may be associated with GERD. Normally, a valve, known as Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), is placed between stomach and esophagus, which relaxes only to swallow food, water and saliva.
This LES valve prevents the stomach juices and flowing back of acid to the esophagus and the throat, especially when we lay down on the bed. When this valve stops functioning as expected and relaxes unnecessarily, the acid from the stomach may reach the esophagus. GERD is a common disease. It is believed that almost every individual experience GERD at least once in the lifetime.
As per the reports from American College of Gastroenterology, more than 15 million individuals from America experience suffer from heartburn almost every day. This count is around 20% of the America’s population. Note that the individuals of any age group may suffer from GERD. Although GERD is mainly a digestive disorder, but it is identified that individuals suffering from Asthma are more prone to suffer from it.
The reason being, since Asthma causes the LES to relax more frequently. This might allow the stomach to reflux the digestive juices along with the acid to the esophagus. Additionally, some of the asthma medicines, like theophylline, may raise the tendency of LES reflux, which could trigger GERD.
Symptoms of GERD
The various symptoms of GERD include:
- Burning sensation in the chest and throat
- Excessive burping
- Stomach bloating
- Observing the acid taste in the mouth while burping
- Eaten food reaching to the mouth while burping
- Difficulty in swallowing food
- Constant pain in the chest for few hours after the meals
- Chest pain while swallowing the food or water
- Excessive production of saliva in the mouth
- Constant throat soaring for several days
- Hoarseness of voice
- Inflammation in the gums
- Cavities of teeth
- Bad breath even after proper brushing of teeth
- Difficulty in breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Lump feeling in the throat
- Disturbed sleep with uneasiness in the throat
- Wheezing sound while breathing
Causes of GERD
Normally, GERD is a common problem, which may occur due to numerous reasons. However, at times it occurs due to unknown reasons. The primary probable causes of this disease are mentioned below:
- Lying on the bed immediately after eating
- Eating too spicy food
- Weakening of esophagus due to poor muscle control or weakness in the body
- Due to certain medication comprising antihistamine, calcium channel blocker, sedative, antidepressant, and those for the treatment of asthma
- Being overweight, which induces more pressure on the stomach and abdomen causing LES to open unexpectedly
- Pregnancy also causes more pressure on the stomach and opens LES inappropriately
- Direct and passive smoking
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- Hiatal hernia, in which the diaphragm builds pressure on the stomach
Prevention of GERD
Although you may observe GERD due to multiple reasons, there are several measures that you may take to prevent it to some extent. Some of those are discussed below:
- The patients of Asthma or those who would have suffered from GERD must quit smoking.
- Elevate or raise the head side of your bed to around 6 inches than the feet side.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Take measures to lose weight in case it is beyond the prescribed body-mass index. The excessive fat on your belly would increase the pressure on your stomach. This would forcibly open the LES on often basis, which will then allow the acid to reach at the esophagus.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol.
- Avoid heavy meals, especially in the evening. Do not go to the bed for at least three to four hours from your dinner or any other meal.
- Limit the consumption of caffeine-based products like coffee.
- Avoid consuming the theophylline drug, if possible.
- Exercise every day. However, do not work out immediately after your meals.
- Avoid eating over-spicy and junk foods.
- Consult a good dietician and eat accordingly during the pregnancy.
- Do not wear very tight clothes near to the belly. This may again increase the pressure on your stomach and open the LES, which may then allow the acid to reach at the esophagus.
How is it diagnosed?
GERD is a common disorder that individuals often tend to ignore. Many of them assume it as a digestion disorder. The maximum that they do is to take an over the counter antacid tablet or syrup, which would ease the symptoms for a shorter duration. However, if those recur frequently or if the symptoms persist for several days, you visit your doctor.
The physician would assess the symptoms and may recommend the patient to visit the gastroenterologist for specialized treatment and investigations. One or more of the following investigations may be prescribed for the patient to confirm the occurrence of GERD:
- Esophageal pH and Impedance Monitoring: This test identifies the quantity of the acid content available in the esophagus in different states of the patient’s body, like before and after eating or sleeping.
- Upper Gastrointestinal or GI Endoscope: In this test, a camera attached with a tube is passed through the food pipe of the body. This camera captures pictures within the food pipe and the esophagus. The same process may also be used to extract a smaller piece of tissue, which would be sent to the laboratory for investigations.
- Upper Gastrointestinal or GI Series: In this test, X-ray captures pictures near to the esophagus that identify the causes of GERD.
- Esophageal Manometry: This test is based on measuring the contraction of muscles in the esophagus while swallowing food or water. It identifies the strength of the LES. In case it is found to be weaker, the individual is more likely to suffer from GERD.
- Bravo Wireless Esophageal pH Monitoring: This test involves attaching a small capsule to the esophagus for near to two days or 48 hours. This capsule measures the acidity level at the esophagus caused by the acid reflux from the stomach. In case the acidity near to the esophagus is higher continually for around two days, the individual is suffering from GERD.
Treatment of GERD
If GERD is confirmed by the doctors once after assessing the reports of the prescribed investigations, they would treat the patient based on the severity of symptoms. In normal cases, those are treated through certain course of medication. Many of these medicines focus on reducing the acid content in the stomach of the patient, which may relieve the patients from the symptoms of GERD.
Some of the common medicines used for the treatment of GERD are mentioned below:
- Proton Pump Inhibitor: These drugs are formulized to reduce the acid content in the stomach. The least acid is available in the stomach, lesser will be the chances to get it refluxed to the esophagus, which may cause GERD.
- H2 Blocker: This is another class of drugs, which would reduce the production of acid in the stomach.
- Antacid: Antacids are very common and over the counter medicines, which act by reversing the impact of acid in the stomach through multiple alkaline ingredients. Those are quite useful in the acidity and heartburn. However, those may cause multiple side effects such as constipation and diarrhea.
- Prokinetic: This medicine stimulates the digestion process of the body, which would empty the stomach faster than normal. Once the stomach is empty, the acid could not reflux to the upper side and reach the esophagus, which would avoid GERD. Since these medicines enhances digestion in the patient’s body, the individual may suffer from diarrhea. Those also cause other side effects such as anxiety and nausea.
- Erythromycin: These are the antibiotics, which treat the bacterial infection causing indigestion. Once the infection is treated, the acid formation in the stomach of the patient will be normalized, and GERD may be avoided.
In some severe cases, the patient would not be relived from the symptoms of GERD by changing the lifestyle and following the course of prescribed medication. In such cases, the gastroenterologist might recommend the patient to undergo a surgical treatment. The surgeries could be of following types:
- Fundoplication: In this process, the surgeon stitches some part of the stomach’s top near to the esophagus. This minimizes the passage between the stomach and esophagus, which reduces the chances of acid reflux. In most of the cases, this process helps in reducing the symptoms caused by GERD.
- Endoscopic Surgery: This process involves endoscopic stitching of the LES, which tightens the muscles involved in closing the valve near to the esophagus. The surgery is carried out using radiofrequencies, which produce heat for creating a burning effect for tightening of the LES muscles.
Complications of GERD
Most of the individuals suffering from heartburn take it very lightly. They often follow some home remedies or consume the over the counter medicines to get relieved from it. However, some patients of prolonged GERD may be at risk of complications. Some of such major complications are discussed below:
- Oesophageal Ulcers: This is the condition in which the acid floating from the stomach to the esophagus damages the lining of the esophagus. This further causes formation of ulcers, which may bleed and cause pain. The patients may even find it very difficult to swallow their chewed food because of the formed ulcers.
- Scarred and Narrowed Esophagus: In case a patient suffers from GERD for a long duration, the continual impairment of the esophagus caused by the refluxed acid may narrow it. This will further make very difficult for the patient to swallow anything. In such a case, a small balloon looking device is used for the widening of esophagus to ease the condition.
- Barrett's Esophagus: In case GERD is repeated frequently and not treated well, the cells in the LES lining are impacted. There is a little risk that the patient’s suffering from this condition or Barrett's Esophagus may suffer from oesophageal cancer due to the impaired cells. Around 10% of the GERD patients attain the Barrett's Esophagus condition. Further, 5 – 10% of the Barrett's Esophagus patients may suffer from the oesophageal cancer.
Myths of GERD
Myth #1: The only cause of GERD is eating spicy food.
There are lots of reasons causing GERD. Eating spicy food may be one of those.
Myth #2: Heartburn is a normal condition, which would heal either by its own or consuming the antacids.
Heartburn could be a symptom of GERD. If not treated on time, it may cause complications to the patient suffering from it.
Myth #3: Acidity is always caused by indigestion.
Acidity or heartburn could be caused by multiple reasons other than indigestion. It could also be a symptom of GERD, which must be treated by the doctor on time.
Myth #4: GERD may only affect kids and aged people
GERD can impact people of any age.
Myth #5: GERD is more likely to take place in the winters.
The patients may suffer from the symptoms of GERD in any season or month.
Myth #6: Healthy people with a robust immune system could not suffer from GERD.
Healthy immune system is not an important criterion for preventing the development of GERD in the body. However, those individuals whose esophagus muscles are weaker, are more prone to develop this disease.
The normal rate of heart beats for humans is from 60 to 100 beats per minute. This is when the person is in a normal situation or at rest. The rate goes higher in conditions like exercising, stress etc. However, when the person is at rest and still gets the beat count less than 60, then it could be due to the condition of Bradycardia. This does not mean that it is an alarming situation whenever the count goes below 60, but it could be just a sign that something is not right with the electrical system related to the heart function.
There are three major types of Bradycardia, described as follows:
- Sinus Bradycardia: The sinus node is the natural pacemaker for the heart. Its normal function is to generate the electrical signals for 60-100 times in a minute. When this node fails to function or gets delayed in generating the signals, then it is the condition of Sinus Bradycardia. This kind of Bradycardia is more prominent among children and athletes. It could be very slightly present that many times it goes unnoticed. Most of the causes that are listed below apply to this kind of bradycardia.
- Sick Sinus Syndrome: This category of bradycardia leads to the irregular or abnormal rhythm of the heart. When the person has irregular heart rates or when they feel a sudden rise and fall (or slow and fast) heart rates, they might be suffering from sick sinus syndrome. This category of bradycardia is not as prevalent as sinus bradycardia. People with existing heart diseases, or who have gone through heart surgeries are a bit susceptible to sick sinus syndrome since their sinus node might have got damaged or affected. Even though when people face usual wear and tear of heart tissues, it can lead to this disease.
- Heart block: The electrical signals in the heart need to flow to the chambers so that the oxygen-rich blood can flow properly. In case of heart block, the signals are not properly transferred among cells. In fact, the flow of the signal can completely stop in case of heart block. The medical term for this condition is Atrioventricular block. It depends on what degree it is present in. there is a mild degree or first degree which can cause no issues and is considered as closed to normal. Then, there is a third degree which is the most critical stage and is also referred to as “complete heart block”. In such a situation, the patient should be treated immediately. Generally, doctors don’t let the patients reach this stage provided patients take precautions and reports to the doctor timely. Though this disease can be by birth as well and it could also be caused by a heart attack. Other causes include inflammation of muscle in the heart, narrow arteries or coronary diseases and rheumatic fever. The rheumatic fever is very common in those children who don’t get proper treatment for strep throat.
Because of Bradycardia, the oxygen supply is not properly managed by the body, because of which some organs might not get enough of oxygen. Following are the symptoms of Bradycardia:
- Fainting: Lack of oxygen can cause people to faint or feel the near-faint feeling.
- Dizziness or light-headed feeling
- Shortness of breath: Even when the physical work is done is not much, people with Bradycardia experience shortness of breath. This can also be accompanied by pain in the chest in some cases.
- Misperceptions or difficulty in concentrating: The mind cannot focus well when the oxygen supply is not proper which leads to confusions and a non-alert mind.
- Loss of memory: People can face a hard time remembering things.
- Tiredness: Though some people get tired easily because of other reasons as well and one of the reasons could be Bradycardia.
- Ageing can cause heart tissues to damage which can lead to Bradycardia
- The heart tissues can also get damaged because of some current/past heart disease or even heart attack.
- It could also be by birth that the heart has this disorder.
- The tissues in the heart can catch some infection-causing disorders of this kind. This is also known as Myocarditis.
- If the person has gone through any heart surgery, then it might have left the heart vulnerable to Bradycardia.
- Thyroid glands which do not produce enough hormones can also be a cause. This condition is called hypothyroidism.
- Disturbances in breathing while sleeping over a long time.
- Fevers like rheumatic fevers or any such inflammatory condition can also cause Bradycardia.
- Any drugs which can have an impact on blood pressure, heart rhythm or used to treat psychosis can affect the heartbeat leading to Bradycardia.
All the above factors can have some impact on the electrical signals which are generated by the sinus node. The sinus node is basically a pacemaker (which is biologically present in the heart) and generates signals which in turn makes the heart to beat. So, if the sinus node acts slower than usual, or fails to perform its action, then it causes abnormal heartbeats.
Another cause of Bradycardia is the blockage of electrical signals in the pathway to and from the heart. To understand or visualise the meaning of ‘pathway’, it is important to understand how the heart works. The heart consists of four chambers which are divided into lower and upper ones. The upper ones are also known as atria. This is where the sinus node is situated. When this node generates the electrical signals, it causes the atria to contract which pumps the blood into the lower chambers of the heart. Those electric impulses reach the AV, which is the atrioventricular node. This further transfers the signal to some cells which in turn sends them to right and left ventricle. The right ventricle is responsible for sending blood which does not have much oxygen in it to the lungs and left ventricle is responsible for sending blood full of oxygen to the body. This is how the signals play a vital role in the body and those signals can be affected by multiple factors stated above.
How Bradycardia is Diagnosed?
Bradycardia can be a bit tricky to diagnose because the symptoms might not be present all the time. They could come and go. The testing used to diagnose Bradycardia is an electrocardiogram. This testing, also known by the name EKG, helps in measuring the electrical signals generated in the heart.
The symptoms might or might not appear while testing. If they do appear, then the diagnose because apparent, otherwise, the doctors need to observe and investigate more. For that purpose, they sometimes recommend wearing a monitor which monitors the heart beats for 24 hours. Other ways by which doctors diagnose is closely examining the symptoms in different situations and asking about the family history of the patient. It is important for the patient to be able to provide all the information to the doctor to avoid any misdiagnosis.
Prevention methods of Bradycardia are same as those of heart diseases. Take the necessary measures to avoid any kind of heart diseases. If you already have a heart disease of any kind, then you might need to monitor your heart beats during the day and even in the night. If there are any discrepancies found, you should consult the doctor immediately before Bradycardia takes over. Early detection can reduce the risk of having this disease. Following are the generic ways to keep your heart healthy and avoid any kind of heart diseases:
- Adopt a diet which has low sodium content in it.
- Maintain the body weight as per the BMI index. Being overweight is a very common reason for heart diseases. Keeping the weight under control will not ensure that you are safe from heart diseases, but greatly reduces the chances of catching them.
- Stay active- do some form of physical activity every day for at least 30 minutes.
- Quit smoking if you are a smoker.
- Avoid processed sugars at all costs. Things like cakes, chocolates, brownies, cookies, candies etc. should be avoided. These things can be replaced by natural sugars like fruits or dried fruits like figs etc.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables which aids a low-fat diet. Fruits are rich in vitamins and have good fibre which aids digestion and keeps the body hydrated.
- Keep an eye on cholesterol and sugar levels and keep them under control always. Differentiate between good and bad cholesterol and get yourself checked timely to notice any changes and progress in your controlled diet. The cholesterol levels can be maintained by eating nuts and avoiding fried food like fries etc. Junk food of all kinds mostly have a good amount of bad cholesterol and should certainly be avoided.
- Use of alcohol also needs to be monitored. If you must drink at all, the allowed dosage is one drink per day for women. It could be two drinks for men, but that applies to very healthy individuals and varies greatly from the condition of one individual to other. Based on your health condition, your doctor can advise the allowed limits of alcohol consumption.
- Taking drugs (recreational) is strictly not recommended, irrespective of how small their quantity is or how less often they are taken.
- Try to stay stress-free. Stress has a direct impact on heart and it also affects your gastrointestinal system.
Even while you practice all the above steps, going for regular check-ups and reporting any noticeable irregularities will be an ideal thing to do.
For people having a mechanical pacemaker, immediate consultation with the doctor is advisable since it could be the pacemaker which is not performing as expected.
Also, for people who already have any kind of heart disease, they should take their treatment plan very seriously and report to the doctor about any changes or unexpected events for further diagnoses. Neglecting the abnormalities by considering them a result of heart disease is not advisable.
Treatments for Bradycardia
The treatment plan is only devised by the doctors after careful examination. They base their decision on the original cause of Bradycardia. Treating the cause or the ‘underlying condition’ can heal this disease. This is like eliminating the disease from its roots. Also note that if there are no symptoms found but heartbeat is at times lower than 60, then the doctor might not take any action at all, also depending upon the person’s health history. But for most cases, the doctors will advise you to keep an eye on the heart rates in case if changes drastically or needs attention later.
If there are any medications which are causing the heart to slow down, the doctor might reduce the dosage to see if that positively impacts the heart. Doctors can also use a pacemaker, which keeps the heart rate in control.
Complications in Bradycardia
Below complications can be caused if the patient had symptoms of Bradycardia:
- Fainting quite often.
- Issues with heart when it tries to pump the required amount of blood- which can eventually lead to heart failures.
- Sudden heart attack or even demise.
Myth #1: It is often believed that if the heart rate is slow, it implies that the heart is weak. It is not always the case. There are certain reasons why people get this disease which is not related to the heart. For example, calcium content or disorders with Thyroid gland are also reasons for Bradycardia but they don’t imply a weak heart. When the heart tissues catch the infection, in those cases it can be said that heart is weak, but chances are that it is a temporary condition and can be fixed with the help of treatments.
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.
BENEFITS OF AYURVEDIC MASSAGE (ABHYANGA) BY MEDICATED OILS
1)Nourishes the entire body—decreases the effects of aging
2)Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
3)Imparts a firmness to the limbs
4)Lubricates the joints
6)Stimulates the internal organs of the body
7)Assists in elimination of impurities from the body
8)Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification
10)Calms the nerves
11)Benefits sleep—better, deeper sleep
13)Makes hair (scalp) grow luxuriantly, thick, soft and glossy
14)Softens and smoothens skin; wrinkles are reduced and disappear
15)Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha
Marma massage and Kerala foot massage which were traditionally used to heal injured warriors were carefully guarded secrets. Now they are being taught openly as well
TYPE OF AYURVEDIC MASSAGE :-
6)Pre-Natal female massage
7)Postnatal Ayurvedic massage
8)Ayurvedic Newborn Massage
9)Aged person body Massage
LIFT (LIGATION OF INTERNAL FISTULA TRACT ) MININAL INVASIVE PROCEDURE FOR FISTULA IN ANO
What is Fistula in Ano?
A fistula-in-ano is an abnormal tract with an external opening in the perianal area that is communicating with the rectum or anal canal by an identifiable internal opening. Most fistulas are thought to arise as a result of cryptoglandular infection with resultantperirectal abscess.
LIFT (ligation of internal fistula tract) technique is yet another approach in treating a fistula-in-ano.
LIFT procedure is based on secure closure of the internal opening and removal of infected cryptoglandular tissue through the intersphincteric approach. The LIFT technique is often performed for complex or deep fistulas. The procedure allows surgeon to access the fistula between the sphincter muscles and avoid cutting them.
- Minimally invasive procedure for fistula in ano
- Very liitle risk of incontinence
- Very little risk of recurrence
- Safe and effective method of treatment
- No need of repeated dressing
- No scarring of tissue
- Early return to work
- Minimal pain