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Birth Defects Tips

Clubfoot - What All Should You Know?

Dr. Sameer Desai 89% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Pune
Clubfoot - What All Should You Know?

Clubfoot is a birth defect affecting babies and is characterized by deformity of the foot. A baby with clubfoot has his/her foot twisted. It can affect one or both the feet, which point inwards and may even appear upside down. The condition can affect one in 1,000 babies where the baby is normal and healthy otherwise. Depending on the severity of the condition, your baby will experience difficulty in walking or limping.

Causes
The foot or feet appear twisted or crooked due to shorter tissues that connect the muscles to bones. Doctors do not know the exact cause of the tendons and tissues being shorter than the typical length. However, there are certain known factors that increase the risk of clubfoot in babies. They are:

  1. Family history- A baby is more likely to have a clubfoot if both or one of the parents has clubfoot.
  2. Congenital conditions- If your baby is born with a medical condition like spina bifida, he/she may have clubfoot as one of the symptoms.
  3. Lifestyle choices- A person who smokes during pregnancy and has a family history of clubfoot, is at greater risk of giving birth to a baby with clubfoot.
  4. Less amniotic fluid- Amniotic fluid surrounds the fetus in the womb. Therefore, low level of amniotic fluid may increase the chance of clubfoot in your baby.

The clubfoot does not cause any pain to your baby when he or she is small. However, it will cause difficulties once the child grows up and starts to walk. The condition has been seen to affect more males than females and needs proper treatment.

Treatment-
Your doctor will able to spot and detect clubfoot in your baby during an ultrasound session and will prepare you for the same. Once your baby is born, his or her treatment can begin immediately. The standard treatment for clubfoot is called the Ponseti method. The Ponseti method is divided into stages that include-

  1. Casting- As babies have tender and soft tendons that can easily bend and be stretched, the doctor manipulates the foot into the correct position and puts a cast on it to keep it in place. This process continues for a few week. After the first few days, the previous cast is removed and the foot is put in a new position and is again put in a cast; this goes on for the next couple of weeks.
  2. Surgery- When the final casting comes off, a small surgery is performed to loosen the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. The procedure is generally performed under local anesthesia.
  3. Shoe Brace- After a successful surgery, your baby is required to wear a special type of shoe brace that is attached to his/her leg with a bar. This is required for preventing the recurrence of clubfoot. Your baby needs to wear the shoe brace for at least 3 months after surgery and after that, wearing the shoe brace only during nighttime till the age of 4-5 years should suffice.

However, if the Ponseti method does not yield the desired results, major surgery is carried out at the age of 6 months and one year. In clubfoot cases, there is a 20 percent chance of recurrence that needs to be treated again with casting and surgery.

All babies treated with the Ponseti method go on to have a normal childhood and learn to walk and play like other healthy children.

2545 people found this helpful

How Can You Possibly Control Birth Defects?

Dr. Rakhi Gupta 88% (73 ratings)
FICOG, FICMCH, FIMSA, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
How Can You Possibly Control Birth Defects?

Although the cause of over 60% of birth defects are not known, there are things that you can do to help ensure optimal health for your baby.

There are a number of things you can do to increase the probability of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some are more challenging than others because they may require that you break bad habits, but it is worth your effort.

Here are a variety of tips you can use to prevent birth defects as you contemplate starting or adding to your family:

  1. The first and foremost tip is maintaining preconception health; eating well balanced and nutritional meals, and taking a multivitamin daily that includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid.
  2. If you are sexually active and pregnancy is a possibility, make sure you take a multivitamin daily, which includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid and other essential B vitamins.
  3. Avoid all activities that could potentially lead to birth defects, including alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and caffeine.
  4. Seek an annual gynecological and wellness exam.
  5. Obtain genetic counseling and birth defect screening, particularly if you have any family history of birth defects or if you are 35 years of age or older. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3693 people found this helpful

Is Your Heart Disease Genetic?

Madhavbaug Clinic 88% (59 ratings)
Non-invasive Cardiology
Ayurveda, Thane
Is Your Heart Disease Genetic?

Some heart defects are present right from birth. We discuss the role of your genes in making you vulnerable to heart disease.

 

1 person found this helpful

Tips For Preventing Birth Defects

DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Tips For Preventing Birth Defects

Although the cause of over 60% of birth defects are not known, there are things that you can do to help ensure optimal health for your baby.

There are a number of things you can do to increase the probability of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some are more challenging than others because they may require that you break bad habits, but it is worth your effort.

Here are a variety of tips you can use to prevent birth defects as you contemplate starting or adding to your family:

  1. The first and foremost tip is maintaining preconception health; eating well balanced and nutritional meals, and taking a multivitamin daily that includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid.
  2. If you are sexually active and pregnancy is a possibility, make sure you take a multivitamin daily, which includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid and other essential B vitamins.
  3. Avoid all activities that could potentially lead to birth defects, including alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and caffeine.
  4. Seek an annual gynecological and wellness exam.
  5. Obtain genetic counseling and birth defect screening, particularly if you have any family history of birth defects or if you are 35 years of age or older. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
2570 people found this helpful

Severe Epilepsy - How To Deal With It?

Dr. Kodeeswaran Marappan 91% (64 ratings)
MCh, MBBS, MRCS (UK)
Neurosurgeon, Chennai
Severe Epilepsy - How To Deal With It?

The word epilepsy brings to mind visions of people frothing at the mouth and rolling on the ground. However, epilepsy affects each patient in a different way. This can make it hard to recognize at times. In the more serious cases of epilepsy, an epileptic attack can make a patient injure himself or develop other life threatening conditions. In rare cases, epilepsy can even cause death. Thus it becomes imperative to understand how to deal with epilepsy.

Treatment options for epilepsy can be categorized as medication, surgical procedures and dietary changes.

1. Medication: Medication for epilepsy is prescribed on the basis of the symptoms presented and the type of epilepsy the patient is suffering from. In most cases, seizures can be controlled with a single type of medication, but in others, the doctor may need to prescribe a combination of medicines to control epilepsy. These forms of medication do have side effects and hence any reactions to the medication must be immediately brought to the doctor's notice. The dosage for epilepsy medication may need to be varied with time. An epileptic patient should never discontinue medication on their own.

2. SurgeryDepending on the type of seizures and the area of the brain affected, a doctor may advise surgery in cases of severe epilepsy. Surgery can help reduce the number of seizures experienced or completely stop them. Surgery to treat epilepsy is of many types. Some of the common procedures are:

  1. Surgery to remove tumor of any such conditions that may be triggering the epileptic attacks
  2. Surgery to remove a small section of the brain from where a seizure originates. This may also be referred to as a lobectomy.
  3. Multiple subpial transaction or a surgery that involves making a series of cuts in the brain to prevent the seizures from spreading to other parts of the brain.
  4. Surgery to sever the neural connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
  5. Surgery to remove half the brain's cortex or outer layer

3. Dietary changes: A diet rich in fats and low in carbohydrates can help reduce seizures. This is known as a ketogenic diet and aims at making the body break down fats instead of carbohydrates. It can cause a buildup of uric acid in the body and thus should be practiced only under the guidance of a dietician. In cases where epileptic attacks are triggered by malnutrition and birth defects, taking vitamin supplements can help lower the frequency of seizures. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurosurgeon.

2907 people found this helpful

Health Supplements - Do We Really Need Them?

Dt. Tamanna Narang 91% (5201 ratings)
M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition (Delhi University)
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Panipat
Health Supplements - Do We Really Need Them?

It is important for you to have a healthy and balanced body in order to perform your daily activities well. People often think health supplements are efficient alternatives to a healthy diet and regular physical exercise while most of the doctors and nutritionists believe that there is no need for any health supplement if you take in right quantity and quality of food and engage in regular exercise. While health supplements are not alternatives to a healthy lifestyle, they are somewhat necessary for everyday health in the hectic lifestyles of today.

Nowadays, stress (learn more about for Controlling Everyday STRESS) is a constant companion and the foods that we consume are often not of proper quality. You may think that you are taking foods full of nutrients but pesticides and chemicals used farming diminish the nutrient content from the crops. This creates a necessity for taking health supplements for the proper nourishment of body.People with certain medical conditions also need supplements. Supplements fill the gap in your diet.

Beneficial health supplements:

  1. Pregnant women and breastfeeding (leanr more about the Benefits of Breastfeeding) women need iron supplements. Folic acid can be supplemented in your diet in order to reduce the chances of birth defects.
  2. You can take in vitamin D supplements if they don't get enough sunlight every day. Adults, especially after the age of 40 need vitamin D and calcium supplements to maintain bone health.
  3. Adults above the age of 40 are also advised to take vitamin B-12 supplements. 

Supplements have some side effects depending upon your health condition. If you take some supplements along with some other medicines or before surgeries, they can lead to serious complications. Research has concluded that some vitamin and minerals supplements particularly iron supplements, increase the risk of death. So it is necessary to have a proper examination of the body before you take health supplements. The risk factors include: 

  1. Taking vitamin B6 regularly in excess of 100 mg may lead to damage of your nerves
  2. Taking 400 international units of vitamin E on a regular basis increases the health risk and may even lead to premature death
  3. Taking multivitamins does not supplement poor eating habits. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor.
9494 people found this helpful

Nasal Reconstruction Surgery - Types And Symptoms

Dr. Sasikumar 88% (65 ratings)
MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Chennai
Nasal Reconstruction Surgery - Types And Symptoms

A Nasal reconstruction surgery is required to correct deformities in the nasal area formed as a result of birth defects, injuries, trauma etc. It is also used to correct missing parts of the nasal anatomy if required. Recent developments in techniques such as microsurgery, expansion of the tissue and so on, have helped surgeons improve the methods of nasal reconstruction surgery to a great extent. At this point, a patient has a great number of reconstruction methods to choose from, depending on his/her particular case.

Types of Nasal Reconstruction Surgery:

  1. Local flaps
  2. Regional flaps
  3. Secondary Intention Healing
  4. Simple Suture closure
  5. Skin grafts
  6. One stage nasolabial flap
  7. Two stage nasolabial flap
  8. Forehead flap
  9. Bone and Cartilage frame work reconstruction

Indicators of the need for Nasal Reconstruction surgery

  1. One indicator of the need for this type of surgery is fractures in the nose that have changed the shape of the organ. Patients opt for this kind of surgery in order to improve their overall appearance.
  2. Another indicator is fractures or other deformities that lead to breathing problems. Living with such problems is difficult; hence it is important to get nasal reconstruction surgery.
  3. The presence of the Deviated Nasal Septum prevents proper breathing and increases vulnerability to ENT infections. Nasal reconstruction surgery can be used to fix this problem.
  4. Deformities formed as a result of treatment of skin cancer can be fixed with the help of nasal reconstruction surgery.

Things to know about recovering from Nasal Reconstruction Surgery

  1. Medication taken orally can help to counter the discomfort experienced right after a nasal reconstruction surgery.
  2. Usually, splints are used inside the nose during the surgery. These are generally removed within a week.
  3. Patients are able to get up and walk about within a few days. Normal daily activities may be resumed upon the doctor's instructions.
  4. At times, a swelling may be observed in the nasal area, but this goes away within a few weeks. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic surgeon.
3168 people found this helpful

Health During Pregnancy - 5 Ways To Monitor And Care For It!

Dr. Nimmi Rastogi 90% (35 ratings)
DGO, MBBS, Advanced Infertility
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Health During Pregnancy - 5 Ways To Monitor And Care For It!

Pregnancy brings with it a new set of additional responsibilities. The mother has to be extra vigilant about monitoring and caring for her health. This ensures that sufficient nutrition is being provided to the growing infant, at the same time, ensuring no harm comes through you. Listed below are some simple ways to do the same.

  1. Prenatal care: As soon as you realize that you are pregnant, it is advisable to consult to a doctor or a midwife about proper prenatal care. This could include anything and everything from prenatal vitamins to food habits to exercise to sleeping habits to periodic scanning – the whole hog.
  2. Diet: You need to ensure two things: that you are eating enough for two people, and also that everything is healthy and not harmful for the little one that gets all its nutrition through you. The diet should be healthy, nutritious, wholesome, and of course free of junk. Some pointers to a healthy diet include:
    • Include a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day; break it into five small portions.
    • Sufficient amount of carbohydrates should be the basis of each meal.
    • Whole grains are preferred to white grains, which also give good amount of fiber.
    • A good amount of proteins including fish, eggs, meat, nuts, pulses, milk, and other dairy products.
    • Ensure adequate amount of iron, calcium, and other minerals are included in the diet.
    • Avoid eating non-pasteurized dairy products, uncooked or undercooked food, and smoked seafood.
    • Folic acid is compulsory for the first trimester as it helps to protect your unborn baby from developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Also, it helps to prevent other birth defects, such as a cleft palate . 
  3. Weight gain: If your weight was normal for your age and height before pregnancy, expect to add about 12 to 15 kg during your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor on weight changes and nutritional aspects to monitor weight throughout pregnancy. This could change based on if it is twins, your weight before pregnancy, and body type.
  4. Exercise: There are specific exercises designed to benefit the pregnant women. Whether it is walking or swimming aimed at improving overall health or Kegel exercises aimed at improving vaginal and perineal muscles, your doctor should be able to draw up a routine. Exercising while pregnancy is being increasingly encouraged for the following reasons:
    • Improved energy levels
    • Controls back pain
    • Improved sleep pattern
    • Improves constipation
    • Improves muscles strength and endurance
  5. Lifestyle changes: With pregnancy setting in, it is time to bid goodbye to smoking and drinking alcohol. Continued smoking after onset of pregnancy has many serious complications, including growth retardation, low birth weight. Alcohol can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery.

These are simple ways to monitor and care for your and of course, the baby’s health throughout pregnancy.

2685 people found this helpful

All You Need To Know About Epilepsy

MD, MBBS
Neurologist, Gurgaon
All You Need To Know About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disease which is characterised by recurring epileptic seizures. These seizures can be brief or can persist for prolonged periods. Vigorous episodes which last long can result in physical injuries such as broken bones. Mention that 6th February is International epilepsy day.

Causes of Epilepsy
The cause of this condition isn’t very evident; however, most medical practitioners attribute epileptic seizures to brain tumours, injury, infections in the brain or birth defects. Some doctors believe that epilepsy is caused due to genetic mutations and is an outcome of abnormal activity of cells in the brain. Other causes for this condition can be alcohol or narcotics withdrawal and electrolyte problems.

Symptoms

  1. Repeated seizures
  2. Impaired memory
  3. Bouts of fainting
  4. Short spans of blackout
  5. Sudden bouts of blinking and chewing
  6. Panic
  7. Inappropriate repetitive movements

Types of Seizures
A seizure, also known as fit, is usually a brief episode characterised by uncontrollable jerking movement and loss of awareness due to abnormal neuronal activity in your brain. A collective occurrence of these seizures causes epilepsy.

There are three types of seizures an epileptic person usually encounters.

  1. Idiopathic: This kind of seizure has no apparent cause
  2. Cryptogenic: The doctors believe that there is a cause for the seizure but cannot detect it
  3. Symptomatic: These seizures occur due to a reason.

Treatments

  1. Medication: Medication is the most common treatment in case of epilepsy. Drugs taken on a regular basis can stop the seizure partially. But in very severe cases, they seem to have no effect at all.
  2. Surgery: For symptomatic seizures which are caused due to abnormal brain function, surgery can be a way to get rid of seizures. In some minor cases, nerve stimulation in the brain and special diets can be prescribed to control the epileptic seizures.

Five facts about epilepsy you need to know:

  • Epilepsy is not psychosis or madness and can be treated easily 
  • Popular celebraties with epilepsy include Aristotle, Alfred Nobel, Alexander the great, Sir Isaacs Newton, Martin Luther and Julius Caesar etc
  • Woman with epilepsy can have a normal pregnancy 
  • Newer medicines for epilepsy are effective and very safe 
  • Surgery can cure epilepsy in some patients

    If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist.

2888 people found this helpful

Neurological Disorder - How Panchkarma Therapies Can Help?

Dr. Sanjay Arora 90% (172 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Karnal
Neurological Disorder - How Panchkarma Therapies Can Help?

Neurological disorders may creep in due to many reasons. It may be due to degenerative diseases, accidents, other health conditions, birth defects or genetics. The most common form of disorder occurs due to non-functional brain cells in some parts, and loss of myelin sheath in neurons, which protects the nerve signals in their complete transfer from origin to destination. These losses are irreparable, but further degeneration can be avoided with Ayurveda. Panchakarma, the branch of Ayurveda, which deals with detoxification of the body and mind, specially helps. Over a period of time, it can bring back the lost sensation in nerves. Yoga, pranayama and Ayurvedic treatments lead to recovery and relief to a huge extent.

Important facts about Panchakarma
There are 3 important steps in Panchakarma, which are followed one after another to get the result. The main objective of Panchakarma is to detoxify the body. Virechanam, vamanam, sneha vasti, nasyam and kashaya vasti are the 5 folds in Panchakarma.

  • Poorvakarma or preparing the body, followed by Abhyangam or massage, followed by Elakizhi or herbal paste massage, and finally podikizhi, or steam bathing makes the body ready for receiving further treatments.
  • Njavara Kizhi is the special treatment done in Panchakarma where the body is given a rice bolus massage to improve the joint and neuro functions.

What is Njavara Kizhi?
Njavara is a variety of rice, which is specially used for Ayurvedic treatment and massages. In this treatment the rice is made into a pudding by boiling it with milk. This pudding is then made into boluses. The boluses are filled in muslin cloth, and then using these muslin bolus dabs, the whole body of the patient is massaged. This full-body massage has excellent effects on neurological and joint functions. The deep tissues within the body are rejuvenated. The treatment is carried on for 45 minutes to 60 minutes by therapists or experts. Another form of the treatment requires the rice to be made into a paste, and then the paste is applied all over the body. But this is more preferred for beautification.

Other effective therapies
Siro Vasti, Kati Vasti, Ela Kizhi and Nasyam are all different forms of Panchakarma treatment, which detoxify the body and mind and rejuvenate the body and nerve functions. But these treatments cannot be conducted on the body on your own. You need a masseur who must be a specialist in Ayurveda to do this for you. Hence contacting Ayurvedic doctors or experts would be the best to start the treatment.

4978 people found this helpful
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