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Hiv Prophylaxis Post Exposure
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Patient Review Highlights
Persistent fatigue can be a symptom of an underlying disease. Fatigue refers to the feeling of weakness, tiredness and constant lack of energy. Fatigue can be an underlying symptom of weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, chest pain, muscle weakness and depression.
Fight fatigue in the following ways:
1. Consistent physical activity can actually help by enhancing well-being, balance, endurance and weight loss. Exercises help release ‘endorphins’ in the brain that help reduce stress.
2. A nap in the afternoon can help you fight the day long stress.
3. Be careful with your medications: While few medicines such as aspirin can help with the management of fatigue, it is best to avoid fatigue fighting drugs. Review their side effects properly, lest they might add to your fatigue.
4. People bowed down with fatigue may experience more exhaustion in scorching climatic conditions. These methods would really help you to calm down. For instance turning on the air conditioning during the summer months, putting on light cotton clothes or a cooling vest, consuming cold beverages, swimming or taking a cold shower may rejuvenate you for the day.
5. You can also opt for physical or occupational therapies to help combat stress and fatigue. In occupational therapy, a trained professional helps you to simplify work, at home or even at the office, so that you can manage all work and yet stay do not feel bogged down by stress. In physical therapy, an expert aids you in performing the routine physical chores more effectively.
6. One of the most vital ways to manage stress and fight fatigue is to get sufficient sleep every day. Clocking 8 hours of sleep will give your body and mind the required energy to function optimally the next day.
7. A balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients can go a long way in managing stress and fatigue. Also, a cup of coffee will also give you your daily nicotine fix that can help you stay alert and rejuvenated.
Your body is in constant motion and at night, it needs rest to rejuvenate and get itself all prepped for the next day. Getting adequate rest will improve your skin’s health and keep you youthful. The level of testosterone, insulin secretion, cell division and performance in athletics all get managed by a good night’s sound sleep. Besides these, your motor skills and cognition improve as well.
Some people say that six hours of sleep is enough for them to function well. But this is merely a myth. Those who sleep for six hours are not even aware how tired they are in fact. Thus, anything less than eight hours is not good for your body. You need the adequate sleep for your body to get rejuvenated for action the following day. Less sleep and you might end up feeling sluggish the entire day, with absolutely no energy reserves left.
Sleep deprivation can lead to:
1. Fatigue, absence of motivation and increased lethargy
2. Irritation and mood swings
3. Lack of creativity and rational thought to solve problems
4. Inability to deal with stress
5. Loss of immunity which leads to frequent infections and colds
6. Memory and concentration problems
7. Sudden weight gain
8. Insufficient motor skills that lead to accidents
9. Decision making difficulties
10. Risk of diabetes, heart conditions and other medical problems
Then there are two hormones that govern your appetite, ghrelin and leptin. The hormone “ghrelin” controls the appetite and “leptin” signals the brain when you are full. When you sleep lesser than eight hours, the level of “ghrelin” goes up and “leptin” levels come down. This makes you eat more and you don’t even realize when you are full. This way, you just end up gaining a lot of weight.
Fatigue ends up severely affecting your motor and cognitive skills. You feel disoriented and edgy. Here are some things you can do to sleep better:
1. Stick to regular sleep schedules
2. Avoid looking at computer and other electronic video screens for a long time at night; because the glare disrupts your sleep schedules.
3. Keep your room dark and quite for a cosy sleep
Involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle, located at the base of the lungs, causes hiccups. Such spasms cause the sudden, quick closure of the vocal cords, during air inhalation, causing you to gasp with the characteristic ‘hic’ sound. Hiccupping is an uncontrolled reflex action, often triggered for no apparent reason.
They occur frequently and are more common in newborns and infants. A hiccupping bout generally continues for a few minutes and subsides on its own. These spasms generally occur in a constant rhythmic pattern. They are often set off by anything that creates a pressure on or around the diaphragm. These include:
- Eating too fast or because of the speedy swallowing of food
- Consumption of exceptionally hot and spicy foods
- Consumption of aerated fizzy beverages
- Lack of sleep, stress and exhaustion
- Excess consumption of Alcohol
- Intake of certain medications
How problematic can they be?
In most cases, hiccups stop within a short period of time. Persistent hiccups however, keep occurring for over 48 hours and some continue for over a month, which are also medically termed as Intractable Hiccups. Medical attention is required when hiccups start interfering with sleeping or eating patterns, cause intense breathing difficulty and vomiting. Relentless hiccupping can be painful and extremely tiring. It creates discomfort in the upper abdominal region, and hinders normal routine.
Home remedies for it
Hiccups are generally not serious and most often resolved by simple home remedies. Some of these home remedies include quickly drinking a glass of water, holding your breath for a while or evenly breathing into a paper bag.
Persistent hiccups, that occur at frequent intervals and continue for weeks and months could, however, be indicative of an underlying serious health condition. Therefore, you must visit a doctor if your hiccups do not subside easily.
Incessant hiccups could be symptoms of any type of liver or abdominal disease or lung disease such as pneumonia. Strokes, brain tumours and certain nervous disorders may also cause hiccups; as such disorders create a disturbance in the functioning of the diaphragm.
In case of painful, frequent hiccups, the physician may prescribe you some medications. These may include certain types of muscle relaxants, sedatives, analgesics or any other kind of stimulant that can help in providing a remedy.
How can you ‘prevent’ it?
The onset of a bout of hiccups, is mostly self induced, involuntary spasms, thus cannot often be predicted or prevented. However, certain precautions may be taken to avoid recurrence. Abstinence from smoking, controlled drinking, not gulping down food too fast are only a few ways that control the frequency of hiccups. However, it is always advisable to get yourself examined by a medical practitioner in case of a prolonged spell of hiccups.
Sleeping is a natural process, which should happen effortlessly when you are tired. However, owing to a lot of factors, your sleep might be disrupted and the lack of sleep might make you feel tired and less productive the next day.
Here are a few tips which you could follow to sleep better:
Remove the faintest traces of light: A dark room helps you sleep better as even a faint light can trick your brain into believing that it is daytime and disrupt your sleep. Switch off all your lights and if that doesn’t help, use an eye mask to keep the light out.
Keep your beverages under check: Consuming any form of caffeinated beverages within six hours of your sleep time can hamper your sleep. The caffeine content in your beverages can reduce your regular sleep time by more than two hours as it is loaded with oxidants which fight drowsiness.
Choose your dinner carefully: Eating a heavy dinner can cause discomfort while sleeping and can disrupt it as you feel over-stuffed. Refrain from consuming alcohol with your dinner as it can force you to make frequent trips to the washroom and act as a disruption to your sleep.
Do not exercise before going to bed: Exercise is absolutely important for a healthy lifestyle, but exercising before going to bed can result in problems in sleeping. Exercising can give you an adrenaline rush which keeps you awake and pumped up at night.
Find the perfect mattress and pillow: Feeling comfortable is the key to good sleep. Your bed and pillow might be too hard or soft for you and can be the reason behind you not getting proper sleep. Doctors recommend feather pillows for a good night’s sleep. Also, if you are using a synthetic pillow, make sure to replace it every six months.
Indulge in snooze foods: You can avail and indulge in certain foods which have been labelled as snooze foods as they help you get better sleep at night. Warm milk is loaded with an amino acid known as ‘tryptophan’ which helps you get better sleep at night. Eating one spoon of honey before going to bed is a great idea as it releases ‘Orexin’, a neuropeptide which is responsible for lowering alertness levels.
Insulin is the most common treatment prescribed for people affected with diabetes. Diabetes is condition where high amounts of glucose prevail in the blood for an extended period of time. However, there are some drugs that offer an alternative to insulin in treating diabetes, which are:
- Liraglutide: Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drug that causes the body to release greater amounts of insulin so as to facilitate the movement of glucose from the blood to the cells. People with type 2 diabetes generally use this treatment. It slows the digestion process and can cause symptoms of headache and nausea.
- Pramlintide: It's an artificially produced version of amylin. It is taken by both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients, facilitates slower digestion of food and therefore, controls release of sugar in the blood. It can cause tiredness and nausea.
- Dulaglutide:This treatment is for people affected with type 2 diabetes and it is administered once a week. It causes more insulin to be released and pass the glucose to the cells. It can cause loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal cramps as side effects.
- Albiglutide: This treatment facilitates pancreas to release insulin and limits the glucagon hormone production. It is used by type 2 diabetes patients who have not taken well to other treatments. The side effects are skin reaction, respiratory tract infection and nausea.
- Exenatide: It is a drug that causes pancreas to release insulin that facilitates movement of glucose to cells. It is a treatment for type 2 diabetes and it restricts release of glucagon in the body. The possible side effects are acidity, constipation and vomiting.
Migraine is a severe form of headache wherein, the excruciating pain is accompanied by an extreme sensitivity to sound and light; you also experience nausea. The headaches usually affect either side of the head and are throbbing in nature. Hot flashes, numbness of limbs and blind spots in the eye; these are often considered as warnings. In certain cases, migraines can cause blackouts that can range from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Migraine occurs in four stages:
- Pro-drome (symptom indicative of an onset of an illness)
- Aura (visual auras including blurred vision)
- Post-drome (the residual effects of migraine characterized by fatigue and lethargy)
But the occurrence of these stages varies across individuals. The causes of migraines aren’t specifically understood. It may be due to the interaction of the brain stem with the trigeminal nerve, which is an important pain pathway of the brain. Imbalances in hormonal levels or in the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin may also prove to be a causal factor.
Migraine may be triggered due to stress, physical exertion, and excess intake of alcohol or food additives such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). Changes in the environment and sleeping patterns may also be probable culprits.
Migraine can be easily distinguished from regular headaches, given the fact that migraines last longer and are rather severe in nature with pain felt in one part of the head. Most people experience the ‘Aura’stage where they have visual flashes right before headache. Nausea, eye pain or sensitivity to light and sound are other factors helpful in distinguishing migraine from other headaches.
Symptoms can occur a while before headache, immediately before headache, during headache and after headache. Although not all migraines are the same.
Typical symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head during an attack, but can occur on either side of the head
- The pain is usually a severe, throbbing, pulsing pain
- Increasing pain during physical activity
- Inability to perform regular activities due to pain
- Feeling sick and physically being sick
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound, relieved by lying quietly in a darkened room
- Some people experience other symptoms such as sweating, temperature changes, tummy ache and diarrhea.
Complications in migraine may include:
- Chronic migraine which last up to 15 days or more
- Status Migrainosus where the attacks last for over 3 days
- Migrainous infarction where the aura lasts longer than it should, cutting blood supply to the brain.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist.
For a long time cholesterol in totality was seen as a bad thing for your body although the truth was a little more complicated than that. Cholesterol primarily is divided into two types, one of which can be categorized as bad cholesterol and the other as good cholesterol. Let's have an in-depth look at both the categories.
LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein aka bad cholesterol: Cholesterol is a wax like chemical, which is found all over the body and it has important functions to perform. Cholesterol is carried all over the body by Lipoproteins. The low density lipoproteins are denoted as bad cholesterol as they can accumulate on the walls of the blood vessels and cause blockages in heart arteries, resulting in many ailments. LDL levels of 190 and above are considered dangerous.
Some of the risks associated with it are:
1. Heart disease
4. Peripheral artery disease among many others
HDL or High Density Lipoprotein aka good cholesterol: This is a form of cholesterol which is usually desired in higher quantities as it removes LDL from the system by dislodging it from the arteries and then carrying it through the blood stream into the liver. The liver then breaks it down and removes it from the body. Thus, higher number of HDL cholesterol is always desirable.
Some of the ideal numbers for HDL cholesterol within the body are:
Women - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl or lower
Men - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl lower
The role of triglycerides
Good and bad cholesterol levels also depend on the levels of triglycerides within the body and not just LDL or HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides are another type of fat which are used to store energy within the body but can also affect your health. It is most associated with atherosclerosis when the levels of triglycerides are high within the body.
Some habits that contribute to high levels of it are:
a. Lack of physical activity
b. Obesity or being overweight
c. Excesses in alcohol consumption
e. Bad diet and others
Thus the good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol war also includes other factors, most of which can be easily changed by making subtle changes in lifestyle and incorporating healthier habits. This will increase the good cholesterol and the other relevant elements and reduce the bad. You can consult a cardiologist for more details.
The inflammation of the cavities around nasal passage is known as sinusitis. When the cavities are full of fluid, germs attach themselves to the fluids, which give rise to infections. Some of the causes of sinusitis are common colds, allergic rhinitis problem, nasal polyps and deviated septum. You can also learn about common ear infections.
There are 4 different types of sinusitis:
- Acute sinusitis: It remains for about 4 weeks or less. It is usually characterized by a runny nose and pain in the face which will stay for at least 10 to 14 days.
- Sub acute sinusitis: It is almost like the acute sinusitis but stays longer for about 4 to 8 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: The inflammation in this case lasts about 8 weeks, sometimes longer than that.
- Recurrent sinusitis: In this, the sinusitis attack keeps occurring all through the year.
At times, to clear up the blocked sinuses, a surgery is mandatory. This can be painful hence many are hesitant to go through with a surgery. If you want to control sinusitis so that it doesn't reach the limit where you have to go through a surgery, here are some tips of what you might be able to do regularly to clear your chances of controlling this:
- Take steam: This is the most common and easy way to control sinusitis. The steam helps to break down the excess mucus in the nasal passage and also reduces the inflammation of the sinuses. All you need is water. Heat it up to the required temperature and then inhale the steam. You will get a lot of relief if you do this regularly.
- Nasal Irrigation: This is basically the process of flushing the infected and stale mucus out of the nasal cavity. Take a liter of sterile water, mix one tablespoon of kosher salt and baking soda each. Then with the help of a syringe or a neti pot, wash your nostrils with the solution. The mucus will start coming out and your nasal cavity will clear out.
- Use warm washcloth: Lie down and place a warm washcloth (a washcloth dipped in warm water and wringed) on your forehead and nose region. The warmth from the washcloth will break down the mucus and clear the congestion.
Blisters can be a very major inconvenience. Though it seems to be a good idea to pop a blister yourself as it can otherwise cause distraction or may be uncomfortable and unsightly, puncturing it often does more harm than good. Here are a few ways mentioned about how to treat blisters. Read on more to find out all about it.
1. For a Blister which has not popped
a) Try not to pop the blister as the pus if spread can affect other areas
b) Leave the blister uncovered or cover it with a loose bandage
c) Avoid putting pressure on the area of the blister. If the blister has appeared in areas where applying pressure is unavoidable like for example at the bottom of the foot, put mole skin around the blister in a circular fashion such that the mole skin gets the shape of a donut.
2. For a blister which has been popped
a) Wash the area where the blister appeared gently with warm water. Apply gentle soap in the area as well to disinfect the region. Do not by any chance use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or iodine in the area as it would cause complications.
b) Smooth down the skin flap which remains after the blister pops.
c) Apply antibiotic ointment in the affected area to prevent infections
d) Cover the region loosely with help of a sterile bandage or gauge.
3. When to drain a blister
a) For blisters which are painful, large or in awkward spots, it is better to drain them. Be careful and cautious while draining the blister and follow the below mentioned tips.
b) Wash the area where the blister has appeared.
c) Take a needle and sterilize it with alcohol and water.
d) Make an incision at the edge of the blister and carefully squeeze out the pus.
e) Wash the blister again and pat dry. Do not remove the skin flap which remains there after draining.
f) Smoothen the skin flap and apply antibiotic ointment in the region.
g) Wrap it up with a loose sterile bandage or gauge.
4. Follow up
a) Change the bandage on a regular basis, whenever it is wet or dirty.
b) Consult a doctor immediately if signs of infections like red streaks around the affected region, fever, or accumulation of more pus occur.
However, for blisters which have formed due to spider bites, chicken pox or such consult a doctor first.
Obesity and diabetes usually go hand in hand and both of them have one common solution that is physical exercise. It is a known solution to obesity related problems and after fat loss, many people have stated reduction in health problems caused by it.
However diabetes, whether caused by obesity or not can also be kept in check by regular physical exercise. Let's see how it does so:
1. Keeps body insulin in check: Exercising regularly ensures that insulin levels within your body are kept in check. Insulin is what makes the blood sugar get absorbed into the muscles for energy in the form of glucose. Thus this reduces blood sugar levels within the body and keeps the levels within the body under control for patients who have higher blood sugar counts.
2. Exercising helps reduce depression and stress: Exercising is known to have a very positive effect mentally as endorphins are released after a workout. This makes you feel happier and better about yourself and reduces stress or depression. Both depression and stress are known to have triggered Diabetes related issues in the long run and exercising can definitely help keep them in check.
3. Exercise can actually correct insulin resistance: It is a myth that people who suffer from insulin resistance cant benefit from exercise and it helps regulate resistance. If you start exercising and working out, then the insulin resistance is checked and regulated where in the capacity of the body to absorb blood sugar in the form of glucose actually increases.
4. Reduces chances of heart problems caused by diabetes: Diabetes increases the chance of heart problems and also the blocking of arteries through arteriosclerosis. These blockages could result in a heart attack or other related problems and exercising can help reduce their possibilities as well.
5. Exercising also helps to keep your appetite in check: It is known that proper exercising works as a hunger killer and thus will help control your appetite. This is good in two ways:
a) A controlled appetite will help you lose weight, which may be a contributing factor to your diabetes
b) If you have non obesity related diabetes, then appetite suppression will help you eat better and stop you from eating foods or untimely snacks that may contribute to blood sugar issues.
However, it is prudent to visit your doctor and discuss how you can optimize your exercise routine to get the best results.
Commonly people believe that you can understand your blood pressure is high if you are feeling dizzy suddenly or you are not able to sleep at night. Also sweating profusely is often related to having hypertension. But, to be honest, hypertension usually does not have any symptoms, which might help you get alert and take action to control it. This actually imposes a great threat to your well-being as you do not understand if you have hypertension. It is extremely important for you to keep checking your blood pressure level in order to avoid developing hypertension and hence developing a risk to your heart.
Although there aren't any major or very noticeable symptoms, here is a list of some rare symptoms which you can follow:
1. Headaches: If you are suffering from dull headaches almost regularly, it might be because you blood pressure has increased. The headaches can be a dull buzz or a severe migraine like ache. Keep monitoring your headaches and consult your doctor as soon as possible.
2. Dizziness: You might suddenly feel dizzy or you might feel you are about to pass out if your blood pressure increases. Make sure you refer to a doctor as soon as something like this happens.
3. Nosebleeds: A sudden occurrence of nosebleed might also be a symptom of a sudden increase in your blood pressure.
4. Severe anxiety: Severe anxiety or a panic attack is often referred to as a symptom of hypertension. If you have a sudden panic attack with no apparent reason, it may be because your blood pressure has suddenly risen.
5. Shortness of breath: High blood pressure may often cause a shortness of breath. You might experience it during various every day activity like walking, climbing stairs, etc.
6. Nausea: A sudden increase in blood pressure might make you feel nauseous. You might even vomit when this happens. Make sure you consult your doctor if this happens.
Being healthy and happy is a state of mind. Yet, it is also a choice that we make consciously or subconsciously. The way we choose to live and how we respond by matter of habit or choice, to the various life events and situations thrown at us, pretty much decides how our hormones, blood pressure and other factors behave in the long run. Anxiety and general unhappiness have been found to share a deep link with the quality of one's health. So let us look at the common mistakes we make, backed by science, which may be keeping us from health and happiness.
- Avoiding Connections: What really happens when we do not cultivate relationships with people whom we can laugh and cry with? You end up bottling things up inside and do not get an outsider perspective that can help you take things in a lighter vein or from a different, often more justified perspective.
- Endorphins: Also, when you do not have someone you can laugh with, especially during stressful times, you end up supressing hormones like the endorphins which are known to be natural pain relievers too!
- Sitting All Day: If your job or lifestyle involves the sedentary act of remaining seated, you are first of all, asking for neck and shoulder pain in the long run. That besides, you are also losing your fast paced metabolism due to the lack of activity and this can also fuel the build up of toxins which may lead to chronic and potentially fatal diseases in the future.
- Victim of your Own Thoughts: Over exposure to too many ideas can never be a good thing. In this day and age of social media and instant access, we never seem to be short of opinions, no matter how irrelevant. When we start to find our own truth in someone else's reality, we end up playing the victim card in our relationships due to these misplaced opinions. This leads to problems like helplessness which can become anxiety and paranoia in the long run.
- Food: Too much junk or too many fad diets can ruin the chemical balance and good health of your being. Binge eating or emotional eating due to anxiety, boredom and ready availability of food can also give rise to eating disorders and weight gain which in turn, can lead to problems like diabetes, high cholesterol and other such problems.
Exercising, eating right and taking time to breathe and listen to people around you will help in fostering a better lifestyle with more human connections. This is especially important for people living in nuclear families with stressful jobs.