Wash your hands. Proper hand hygiene is vital when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Pathogens (such as viruses, bacteria and fungi) are easily transferred from contaminated surfaces to your skin and from there to your eyes and mouth where they can gain access to inside your body. Thus, washing your hands is one of the first steps to take to reduce the transfer of infectious agents.
Wash your hands every time after going to the bathroom, changing a diaper, sneezing or blowing your nose and when coming into contact with bodily fluids.
Wash your hands before and after working with food. When washing your hands, use soap and warm water to wet your hands up to your wrists and scrub the skin for at least 20 seconds or more. If water and soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and rub it from your fingertips to your wrists in order to eliminate pathogens.
There are many organisms that live in our bodies and on the surface of the skin. These are usually harmless and do not cause any damage. But there are many organisms like viruses, fungi and bacteria that can cause infectious disorders known as infections. There are many kinds of infections that can affect the various parts of the body. These are generally caused by various things starting from contaminated food, to transmission from an infected person and more. Read on to know more about the kind of infections and their causes.
Getting vaccinated on time can help in preventing many infections. This is especially important if you are travelling to various countries.
The most common ear infections happen because of bacterial or viral growth in the middle ear, the part which lies just behind the ear drum. Middle-ear infections can be very painful and children are most commonly reported in children. Most of these infections are caused by the blockage of the Eustachian tube, which connects the ear and the throat, causing the build-up of fluids and swelling. Here is a guide to the most common forms of ear infections and their symptoms, ranging from the acute to the chronic.
Acute infections have intense symptoms but can be cured with time and treatment. They generally last for shorter durations.
In Chronic cases of infections, the patient complains of recurrent symptoms multiple times. Chronic ear infections have the potential of causing permanent damage to the ear.
Symptoms reported by most patients with Ear infections:
1. Pain in the ear (Mild to severe): This is caused due to increased pressure owing to the blockage of the Eustachian tube. Collection of fluid inside the ear would increase the intensity of pain in most cases. Children will keep tugging at their ear and most likely be cranky.
2. Redness and swelling: Both of these are inevitable accompanying symptoms in case of any infection in the body.
3. Oozing of the fluids: The blockage leads to the fluid being released from the ear which can be watery, thick yellow or mixed with blood depending on the severity and type of infection.
5. Difficulty in sleeping.
Ayurveda and Non-Communicable Diseases-
Non-communicable diseases are those that are not contagious. That means if you have contracted it, you will not pass it on to those around you.
These diseases are also called lifestyle disorders. That is because they are triggered by some of our lifestyle choices. We live in a fast and materialistic world. We have no option but to be part of the relentless rat race. The result is unmitigated anxiety and worries over the future. Anxiety is a silent killer and can have a damaging effect on a number of your body’s organs. Coupled with unwise eating habits and rising levels of pollution, the human body is besieged. Cardiac ailments, arthritis, cancer, asthma and diabetes are on the increase.
Non-communicable diseases are a grave threat. They are responsible for the deaths of nearly 38 million people worldwide every year.
Conventional medicines can force the pathogens to retreat but they are accompanied by side effects and some of them can be as harmful as the disorder that the medicines cured. That is why more people are choosing to opt for a more naturalistic approach to healing. They are turning to Ayurveda.
Ayurveda’s outlook on treating non-communicable diseases is to adopt an all-embracing philosophy, which heals both the mind and the body and promote longevity. For treating these ailments, Ayurveda does not just prescribe medicines but places equal emphasis on implementing lifestyle changes. Chief among them is a healthy, organic diet and plenty of exercises to keep both mind and body healthy.
Not only can Ayurveda vanquish non-communicable diseases, but it can also help ensure that the disorders do not recur. It follows the motto ‘prevention is better than cure’. Your Ayurvedic doctor will guide you on your diet and how to conduct your life ethically so that the non-communicable disorder does not make a comeback.
Ayurveda and Communicable Disorder-
Communicable disease means that if you get it, you can transfer it to others. Ayurveda discovered ages ago that communicable diseases spread through contact. A healthy person may come in contact with things you had touched like a handkerchief or a doorknob and come down with the same disease. It may also happen because of physical contact.
Ayurveda believes that it is only when the body’s ‘Bala’ or vitality has weakened does it become vulnerable to contagious or infectious diseases. If there is an imbalance of the three Doshas, your body becomes vulnerable to communicable diseases.
The treatment includes a comprehensive overhaul of the body. Ayurveda believes that communicable diseases also affect the mind. And if the mind is not at its healthiest, it will slow down the healing process. So medications are administered to purify both the psyche and the body. Medicines also aim to strike a balance among the doshas.
Ayurveda has solutions to both non-communicable and communicable diseases. Not only are they immensely effective but they do not have a damaging impact on your body as certain conventional medicines do.
(1) Cancer -
HIV does not cause cancer directly but the chances of cancer increases in the presence of HIV.
Due to the reduced immunity, the other opportunistic infections like T.B. & cancer are likely to occur.
Cancer seen related to HIV is generally Lymphoma Kaposi‟s Sarcoma, vaginal & anal cancer. The vulnerability to the cancer is increased due to a reduction in the strength of C.D.-4 cells. The infection of HPV virus also causes cancer.
(2) Lymphoma -
Generally, patients having C.D.-4 cells less than 100 are vulnerable to Lymphoma. The following symptoms are observed.
Painless lumps in throat, chest, armpit or thighs.
Perspiration during the night.
Loss of appetite
Reduction in weight.
The cancer test includes various tests like physical check-up by a doctor, laboratory tests, X-ray, M.R.I or C.T.Scan. The treatment is quite difficult for this stage.
Lymphoma of the brain or spinal cord -
Brain & spinal cord control each & every part of the body. HIV infection can damage the brain & spinal cord. This generally occurs in the patients having C.D.-4 cells less than 50. Headache & memory loss are major symptoms. The most effective treatment for this is radiation therapy.
(3) Kaposi‟s Sarcoma -
This is caused by the HPV 8 virus. This occurs in the patients having C.D.-4 cells less than 200. This is not much seen in India. Initially, violet patches are seen in mouth & on skin. This can damage any part of the body. Chemotherapy is the best treatment for this type of cancer.
(4) Anal cancer -
This is caused by the HPV virus. Generally, this observed more in HIV patients compared to normal people. This is generally found in homosexual people. But when homosexual has HIV, the chances are high to occur. The symptoms are -
Bleeding from anus
Itching or pus formation
Constipation or Dysentery
(5) Cervical cancer -
This is caused by the HPV virus. This grows very slowly. Initially, no symptoms are seen. Cervical cancer is related to AIDS.
Initially, no symptoms are seen & treatment in this stage is most effective. Following symptoms are seen at the later stage.
This cancer should be detected early & this needs PEP test every six months. If this is detected by the PEP test at the early stage, cancer can be cured. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery can be used for the treatment.
(6) HIV & risk of heart attack -
The chances of heart attack increase due to the following -
High blood pressure
Addiction to tobacco.
More salt & more fat consumption.
Lack of physical strain
But HIV also increases the risk of a heart attack. HIV affects the heart directly.
The medicines for HIV may increase blood sugar or cholesterol. Chance of heart attack is 70-80% more for HIV patients but it can be reduced by observing the following.
(7) HIV & memory loss -
HIV virus can harm the brain & spinal cord by entering inside. It can reduce the thinking power. If one is found to have memory loss, it is a symptom of AIDS. This can be controlled by proper treatment.
The cause of memory loss is difficult to detect as opportunistic infections, mental depression, other mental problems, medicines, ageing can also reduce memory & thinking power.
This can be seen from normal to extensive situations. The symptoms are
Lack of concentration
Slower work & movements
Change in personality
Lack of coordination between the organs.
(8) A.D.C -
ADC (aids Dementia Complex) is seen in the last stage of HIV i.e. AIDS. Its symptoms are -
Lack of concentration
Reduced thinking power
Trouble in grasping new things
Change in behaviour
Lack of interest
Separation from others.
Serious symptoms are -
Trouble in pronunciations
Trouble in body balance
Weakness in muscles
Uncontrolled urination & stool.
Following points are to be kept in mind for the detection.
Stage of HIV infection
The degree of the routine work performed
The medicine of HIV entering the brain can reduce these troubles. Treatment for other mental problems will also reduce the troubles.
(9) HIV & Risk of Diabetes -
The sugar level in the blood rises. The body is not able to consume this extra sugar. The excess sugar in the blood causes serious damage to the various body organs. Other serious diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, paralysis, kidney troubles and troubles related to eyes & brain can occur.
Some of the HIV medicines can cause diabetes, however, it does not mean to avoid or discontinue HIV medicines. Some factors over & above HIV medicines which can cause diabetes are -
Sedentary or inactive life
Lack of exercise
High blood pressure
If Diabetes is present before the detection of HIV
In such cases, more care is required as the chances of heart attack is more in such cases.
(10) HIV & Jaundice -
The swelling on the liver is observed in Jaundice. This happens mainly due to the virus of the types Hepatitis A, B & C. These viruses are found to be present in HIV patient as the way of the spread of this virus is same as that of HIV. When one has infections of HIV & Jaundice, he is said to be Co-infected.
Hepatitis A & HIV -
The vaccine for the protection against hepatitis A is available. Every HIV patient should be vaccinated for Hepatitis A. Particular medicine is not available for Hepatitis A but it disappears naturally after some time. Hepatitis A is the disease of a short period of Lever infection caused by contaminated water or food. The symptoms are fever, yellowish eyes, skin & urine. If Hepatitis B & C are present along with Hepatitis A than the disease becomes serious.
Vaccine for protection against Hepatitis A is available & every HIV patient should avail the same.
The virus of Hepatitis A cannot be abolished by medicines. It disappears by itself but till then the patient suffers the symptoms.
Hepatitis B & HIV -
Every HIV patient should undergo the test for the presence of Hepatitis B. If it is present then the chances of serious lever problems are there. This may cause trouble in HIV treatment. Vaccine for Hepatitis B is available 7 those HIV patients who do not have hepatitis B must avail the vaccine.
This is caused by a virus called Hepatitis B. There may be mild to strong symptoms. In 90-95% cases, the hepatitis B disappears without any medicines but in remaining cases, it is found to exist permanently. In such cases, it is important to avail the treatment for it. Due to this one may suffer liver infection, liver failure or Lever cancer. The Lever diseases are observed to occur due to Hepatitis B.
The Hepatitis infection is transferred by sperm, vaginal fluid or blood-like HIV. If a lady has an infection of Hepatitis B, the baby delivered by her may be infected with Hepatitis B.
One may not have any of the symptoms of Hepatitis B & still can have an infection. The presence of Hepatitis B can only be detected by laboratory tests. If there is no infection, one has to avail the vaccine for it & protect himself.
If one is found to have Hepatitis B infection, he should discuss the various options of the treatment available. Some HIV medicines work for Hepatitis B also. The damage to the Liver can be reduced by proper treatment. Other factors like smoking, alcohol shall be controlled to prevent Lever damage.
Prevention of the infection -
The use of condoms, new syringe & needle, new razor & toothbrush can prevent the transfer of infection.
Hepatitis C & HIV -
If hepatitis C is present along with HIV, the chances of death increase 3 times & that too due to Lever failure or Lever cancer.
Treatment for HIV may be obstructed in the presence of both viral infections.
Every HIV patient should undergo the test for hepatitis C.
No vaccine for hepatitis C is available but treatment for it can be availed. This is curable by proper treatment.
(11) HIV & risk of the kidney -
The main function of the kidney is to purify the blood by disposing of the generated waste of the body. HIV infection increases the risk of kidney troubles. Many HIV patients are found to have kidney troubles. The factors for potential Kidney troubles are -
High blood pressure
C.D.-4 cells less than 200
High viral load
Presence of hepatitis B or C
Symptoms & signs -
Unfortunately, no symptoms are observed in the initial stage. This causes the detection of kidney trouble late & hence doctors advise to carry out the tests for kidney even if there are no symptoms.
The role of HIV in kidney diseases.
Many HIV patients are found to have diseases related to Kidney. Generally, patients having less than 200 C.D.-4 cells are found to have Kidney troubles. If one has a viral load of less than 50, the chances of kidney troubles are very less.
In some cases, the medicines for HIV can obstruct the function of the Kidney. This requires a change of the medicines or the alteration of the doses.
HIV patients are vulnerable to Blood pressure & are more vulnerable to Diabetes also. Diabetes & Blood pressure consequently causes kidney problems.
(12) Opportunistic infections -
Generally, all people come in contact with various types of viruses or other minute germs in day to day life. The immunity of a human body protects the body from this germs & viruses. The HIV patients suffer low immunity & hence are vulnerable to these germs & viruses. This type of infection is known as an opportunistic infection. Patients having C.D.-4 cells less than 200 are liable to suffer this type of infection.
The situation having the presence of more than 20 viruses is known as AIDS. These opportunistic infections can create very serious conditions. Hence the treatment for this is important for everyone to know.
Can the opportunistic infections be prevented?
One of the targets of the HIV treatment is to provide protection against opportunistic infections by Retroviral medicines which increases the number of C.D.-4 cells.
Opportunistic infections can affect any of the body parts. The chance so infection & type of infection depends on the number of C.D.-4 cells.
If the strength of C.D.-4 cells is more than 500
If the strength of C.D.-4 cells is more than 500, the chances of opportunistic infections are very less. Bur due to minor fluctuations in the number of C.D/-4 cells can cause fungal infections.
If the strength of C.D.-4 cells is between 200-500.
Fungal infections -
The fungal infection can occur in mouth, skin, vagina or private parts. This can be controlled by Anti-fungal medicines. This includes the following diseases. Candidiasis of Bronchi, Trachea, oesophagus or lungs, Invasive cervical cancer.
(13) HIV & oral diseases -
Healthy teeth & gums are important for a healthy life. Due to oral diseases, the trouble in consuming the food arises. This does not allow proper chewing or gulping & the patient remains devoid of food. This will create trouble in in-take of the medicines too which will consequently reduce the number of C.D.-4 cells & increase the chances of infections & growth of HIV virus.
In many cases, the symptoms of HIV are found with oral problems. The opportunistic fungal oral infection can be the sign of HIV infections. The oral health can be the sign of control over HIV. Anyone can have oral problems but HIV patients are seen to have this trouble more prominently.
Oral hindsight can be cancer in the future.
The bacterial infection can be mixed up with the blood & can damage other parts if not controlled timely. This can be dangerous to HIV patient as they have very low immunity.
HIV patients may have dry mouth problems. This can be caused by some HIV medicines too. They may have trouble in chewing, gulping or even in speaking because of dried mouth & teeth problems.
To avoid this, it is important
To consult dentist regularly.
To brush the teeth twice daily.
To clean the dental gaps with dental flaws.
To inform the doctor about the dried mouth.
(14) T.B. -
T.B. is caused by bacteria. This is generally observed in lungs but can be seen in bones, brain, kidney, intestine & other body parts. T.B. can be dangerous if not treated properly.
The combination of T.B. & HIV can be fatal. The main cause of death in HIV is T.B. Hence every HIV patient must be tested for T.B.
The spreading of T.B. -
T.B. is transferred through the air. When a patient of T.B. coughs or sneezes or speaks, the bacteria are transferred into the air. These bacteria can survive in the air for a long time. If these are again transferred into the other bodies by respiration, there exist chances of T.B.infection.
T.B. is not transferred by -
By eating or drinking water together.
By using common sofa or utensils
T.B. infection can be of two types.
Inactive T.B. does not show any symptoms & does not cause spread. But people having this are liable to suffer T.B. HIV patients are more vulnerable to T.B. Medicines for inactive T.B. are also available to protect against active T.B.
When one falls sick because of T.B., it is said to be an active T.B. The active T.B. patient can transfer T.B. to others. T.B. can be completely cured by the medicines available.
The symptoms can differ from person to person. The patient with inactive T.B. shall not have any symptoms. Active T.B. patient shall have cough more than 14 days, bleeding in expectoration, perspiration during nights, fever, weight loss, less appetite, weakness. If any of these symptoms are seen there is a chance of T.B.
The interval of T.B.tests.
Whenever a patient is diagnosed with HIV, the tests for T.B. must be carried out as they are more vulnerable to T.B.
HIV patients should carry out clinical T.B. test every year.
The patients who have started medications for HIV shall be tested for T.B. in the near future.
There are many options available for active & Inactive T.B.
T.B. treatment shall be availed for 6-12 months in the first stage. Treatment for T.B. is as challenging as HIV treatment. T.B. treatment can cause lever problems as its side effect.
Those who are under treatment for both T.B. & HIV shall consult the doctor at least once in a month & shall carry out necessary laboratory tests so as to check the side effects of the medicines in the initial stage & control it by a change in medications if required.
If medication for T.B. is started, one should strictly follow the schedule of the medicines & should not miss any dose.
If the medicines for T.B. is not taken punctually, it also can cause drug resistance same as HIV medicines.
Drug resistance of T.B. medicines. -
When the medicines do not have any effect on the disease, this stage is known as drug Resistance. This is observed in the following persons -
Those who do not take medicines regularly
Those who take some medicines & avoid some.
The repentance of T.B.
The geographical area where drug resistance is prominent.
To be with the drug resistance affected patients.
The treatment for drug-resistant T.B. can continue for 18 to 24 months & its success is less than that of the first stage.