Edema or swelling occurs when a large amount of fluid accumulates in any part of the body. Body parts can also swell from injury or inflammation. This puffiness occurs in different areas of the body like skin, especially on the hands, arms, ankles, legs, and feet. However, it can also affect the muscles, bowels, lungs, eyes, and brain. Depending on the location and cause, swelling can be of various types viz peripheral edema, pedal edema etc.
Symptoms of edema or swelling depends on the amount of swelling and location of the swell. Small area inflammations, like that from a mosquito bite do not have any specific symptoms. Otherwise a large allergic reaction like one from a bee sting will cause pain and limit arm movement. Pedal edema, specially due to fluid accumulation, can make the legs heavier and restrict locomotion. People with pulmonary edema or swelling will run out if oxygen, feel breathlessness and show low oxygen level in the blood. Other symptoms include pits on skin, abnormal size etc.
Treatment of swelling will depend on the cause of the same. Any tumor or abscess can be removed by surgery and thus, swelling can be removed. In case the cause cannot be removed by surgical operations, Doctors may use radiation or chemotherapy to shrink the swelling. Medicinal drugs are also used to provide relief from the pain and lower the swelling. Itching and swelling caused by rashes or hives can also be cured by the use of antihistamines. Also, creams and lotions can be used on doctor advice.
In order to treat the symptoms of swelling, the doctor will first perform some physical tests to determine the root cause. He will prescribe tests like blood tests, urinalysis, imaging test, such as an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI, an X-ray, an electrocardiogram et cetera to know the real cause behind the swelling.
After diagnosis, doctors direct the treatment on the basis of the cause. For instance, the physician may prescribe diuretics if the swelling is caused by a medical condition such as congestive heart failure. If medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind swelling, then treatment mainly involves management and prevention of the condition. If this be managed and cured, swelling automatically diminishes. Swelling or edema which is caused due to injuries will require treatment of the root cause. This may involve bone resetting, a cast, or surgery to repair the injured area. Swelling due to tumor or abscess will require surgical operations to remove it and then lessen the swelling. If the location and size of the tumor be such that it can not be removed by surgery, then doctors use chemotherapy or radiation therapy to shrink it. pain reliever like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium are also prescribed when the swelling is painful. Apart from this, topical medications and antihistamines are also used to relieve inflammation or swelling. Also, ample rest with other techniques may be used to cure swelling. Minor swellings go away on its own and thus, do not need any medical treatment.
People should seek immediate medical assistance or care if there be signs of a blood clot, such as, Pain and redness in the knee, thigh, calf, or groin. There can also be other signs like fever, increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness and pus secretion from those parts. Any recurring chest pain, shortness of breath and pedal swelling that does not fade away should be shown to a doctor without delay.
Any person with no severe symptoms of swelling do not need to consult a doctor. For instance, swelling and redness caused by an ant bite will go away after some time. This does not require special medical care. Also, people may at times find their legs swollen when sitting for a long time. If this goes away after some time, then there is no need to visit a doctor. Also, temporary breathlessness and panting due to some hectic work will go away itself. In such instances, people do not need any medical treatment or care.
There are certain side effects of the treatment of swelling or edema. When radiation therapy or chemotherapy is used, patients tend to develop counter effects besides removal of the cause of swelling. Chemotherapy can cause hair fall, vomiting etc. Radiation therapy can cause skin irritation, fatigue, nausea and vomiting bowel incontinence and the inability to control bowel movements. Surgical operations, if not done carefully, can leave behind part of the tumor. This can later on cause greater complications, including secondary cancer. Use of antihistamines is also known to have some side effects in people.
After treatment, it is important to follow doctor’s advices meticulously. Regular exercises will help shrink the swell faster. Also, using cold compression and massage or physical therapy can be helpful. Patients must take care and be cautious. If any signs or symptoms of swelling recur, they should immediately consult the doctor again.
Any minor swelling, such as those caused by ant bites, fade away in few hours or one or two days. Minor other swells take around three days to a week’s duration to heal. Swells which are treated by surgical operations get cured after the treatment. Otherwise, application of cold supress and other methods to shrink the swell takes around a week’s time to go away completely. Swells caused due to major reasons, like kidney problems or breathing issues, take a little longer time, approximately months to cure.
Treatment cost of swelling varies hugely. Minor swells which can be cured with just medicines and topical ointments are inexpensive while those which include surgeries are more costly. General consultation fees vary from place to place and individuals, approximating Rs. 500 /-. Cost for surgeries like chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be huge, near about Rs 5,00,000 or even more.
Treatment for swelling or edema is mostly permanent. Surgeries and non surgical methods to treat swell cure the main cause and in most cases, these do not recur. However, sometimes, if part of the tumor remains in the body even after surgery, then it may swell back again with greater complications. Signs and symptoms, if found to recur, should be met with a doctor.
Swelling caused due to major issues, like that of kidney issues or cardiac issues do not have any alternative remedy apart from the routine medical treatment. But, minor swells, like those caused due to sprain, can be cured by home remedies. The injured and swelled portion must be kept at rest, and elevated to avoid further puffiness. It should be given cold or ice compression. Intake of magnesium supplements and lowering sodium content will aid to heal the swells faster. Taking Epsom salt bath or soaking the injured swelled region in a tonic bath will prevent further swelling.
Rs 500- Rs 5,00,000 /-
Piles, another term for haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels in or around the anus and rectum. Haemorrhoid swelling occurs when there is an increase in the pressure in the small vessels. Therefore, the vein walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing bowel movements, and this is when piles develop.
Types of Piles: Haemorrhoids are classified into two general categories:
Symptoms of piles: Generally, the symptoms of piles are not serious. They normally resolve on their own after a few days. These symptoms can also vary depending on the size, position, and grade of the pile. So before discussing the symptoms, let’s take a look at the grades. Grades are nothing but the intensity by which piles occur:
Grade 1: These are small swelling
Grade 2: These are larger swellings
Grade 3: In this case, it hangs out from the anus during bowel movements
Grade 4: In this case, the hanging from within the anus is permanent
The most common symptom is bleeding after going to the toilet or to pass stools. A lump in and around the anus, a feeling that the bowels haven’t emptied completely, watery discharge from the anus, an itchy or sore skin around your anus and pain and discomfort during or after a bowel movement are some of the common symptoms.
Cause of piles: Anyone at any age can be affected by piles. However, they are usually more common in elderly people and during pregnancy. Modern lifestyle, excessive consumption of junk food, stress, and improper eating habits accounts for a majority of anorectal complications, including piles. Diet has a pivotal role in both causing and preventing piles. People who eat high fiber diet are less likely to get haemorrhoids, but people those who prefer a diet high in processed foods are at greater risk of piles. There can be a lot of reasons. However, some of the basic reasons are low fibre diet, prolonged sitting on toilet, indigestion, obesity, diarrhoea, long-term coughing, having a family history of piles, excessive heavy weight lifting, spinal cord injury and lack of erect posture.
Prevention of piles
The preventive measures include:
Stapler Surgery For Piles
Stapling is used to treat prolapsed hemorrhoids. A surgical staple fixes the prolapsed hemorrhoid back into place inside your rectum and cuts off the blood supply so that the tissue will shrink and be reabsorbed. Stapling recovery takes less time and is less painful than recovery from a hemorrhoidectomy.
Small changes in lifestyle can make bowels regular and faeces soft, thereby preventing constipation and piles. There are several lifestyle changes that may be adopted to reduce the symptoms of piles and reduce episodes of aggravated piles in susceptible individuals.
Inguino-scrotal and Inguino-labial swellings are common in children during infancy. A common cause of an Inguino-scrotal swelling in children is the presence of a patent processus vaginalis. It presents in the form of an inguinal hernia or hydrocele. Male infants are often affected 3 to 6 times more than the female ones. Processus vaginalis is the outpouching of peritoneum that extends through the inguinal canal. It is first seen during the 3rd month of intrauterine life. It follows the gubernaculum and testes through the inguinal canal and reaches the scrotum by the 7th month of gestation.
Differential diagnosis of inguino-scrotal swelling in children:
Normally after the testicular descent, the portion of processus vaginalis surrounding the testis becomes tunica vaginalis. The processus vaginalis gets obliterated, eliminating the communication between peritoneal cavity and scrotum. A patent processus vaginalis is seen up to 20% in adulthood.
Hernia and Hydrocele: The testicles or ovaries form in the abdomen near the kidneys, between 3 to 4 months of fetal development. Further, they gradually move down into the lower part of the abdomen as the fetus continues to develop. On descending downwards, small part of the peritoneum (a layer of tissue lining the abdomen from inside) that attaches to the testicle is drawn with it into the scrotum. This forms a pouch or sac. A similar process occurs in females as the round ligament of the uterus descends into the groin at the labia. The sac formed is processus vaginalis. Any connection between the abdominal cavity and the scrotum or groin is eliminated. When closure of the processus vaginalis is delayed or incomplete, it may stretch and eventually become a hernia. Stretching of processus vaginalis creates the inguinal sac that allows organs an extension from abdomen and entry into the sac. If fluid, rather than organs, builds up and remains in the sac, the child has a hydrocele. Approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of inguinal hernias appear in boys. They are more common on the right side, but in about 10 percent of cases, they occur on both sides (bilaterally).
Epididymorchitis: Epididymitis is the pain and swelling of the tube that attaches to each testicle called as the epididymis. Orchitis is pain and swelling of the testicle. Since epididymis and testis lie next to each other, differentiation of the inflamed part is difficult. Hence, the term epididymo-orchitis is often used. Infection with bacteria often causes these problems. Other causes are infections from surgery or from a catheter that drains urine. The mumps virus also can cause orchitis. Analgesics or anti-inflammatory medicines can reduce the pain. Antibiotics are used if the problem is caused by bacteria.
Torsion testis: It is a painful condition that occurs in the boys. It is a twisting of the testicles and the spermatic cord (the structure extending from the groin to the testes that contains nerves, ducts, and blood vessels). A decreased blood flow to the testes is caused by torsion of the testes. This torsion essentially strangles them of oxygen and nutrients. While it generally occurs in adolescent boys, it may also occur during fetal development or shortly after a baby is born. Urgent surgical procedure is undertaken if testicular torsion is confirmed in a child. The chance of survival for the testicle is best if surgery is completed within six hours of symptom onset.
The skin prick test is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ for determining an allergen causing the reaction. The test is quick, easy, and the results are easily visible. This article contains a summary of how the skin prick test works, how preparations are done, and how it is performed.
How does it work?
The skin prick method for allergy test is based on inducing an allergic reaction in a very small area of the skin in a controlled manner. An isolated allergen is thus inserted by making a small prick in the skin. If an allergic response occurs, blood vessels in that area just under the skin dilate and fluid leaks out under the skin. This causes a small, red and itchy bump to form on the skin in about 15-20 minutes. The same reaction can result in a much more severe condition if it occurs systemically in response to that allergen. Hence, the skin prick test is used to pinpoint an allergen causing a response.
What preparations are done for the test?
In preparation for the test, taking antihistamines or oral corticosteroids is prohibited for a period of about 48 to 72 hours before the test is performed, including medications containing these. Application of topical lotions or ointments on the skin is also prohibited. Before testing, the healthcare practitioner shall collect a complete medical history of the patient, including previous occurrences of allergic reactions and the situations they happened in. This information is used to determine the allergens that need to be tested for.
How is it performed?
After making a study of the patient’s case history, the allergens that need to be tested are determined. The test is performed in the following steps:
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Diphtheria is an infectious disease which occurs in the throat. Let us know more about what Diphtheria is.
What is Diphtheria?
Diphtheria is a serious infectious disease that affects the throat and is caused by bacteria and viruses which usually damage human tissue in the throat. Diphtheria is highly contagious and can be spread to other persons easily. It causes serious problems in people who have never been vaccinated. It can be identified by a sheet of grayish material covering the back of the throat. It generally affects children who are age below 15 years because their metabolism and the unity to fight germs is still not very strong. Earlier when it was untreatable, it even resulted in death.
Causes of Diphtheria:
There are many causes of Diphtheria. Let us have a look at them.
Symptoms of Diphtheria:
There are many common symptoms of diphtheria and we will talk about some of the most important ones.
Treatment for Diphtheria:
In most cases, diphtheria is treated with the help of two major ways.
Wash your hands carefully if you have made a person who was affected with diphtheria and try to avoid any physical contact with that person also.
What is an abscess?
An abscess is a collection of pus which built ups within the tissue of the body. It is usually tender and warm to touch.
What are the statistics of it?
An abscess is the most common condition and the most common presenting symptom of various diseases. The rate is approximately 65% of the population who are using intravenous drugs.
What are the common causes of it?
It mostly occurs in the patients with weak immunity. Following are the most common conditions which can cause abscess:
What are the symptoms of it?
The most common symptoms and signs of the superficial abscesses are redness, heat, swelling, pain, loss of function, and fever with, or without chills. An internal abscess shows symptoms, such as pain in the affected area, fever, and malaise.
Where can it develop?
It can occur in any tissue, but most frequently it occurs on the skin surface (superficial abscess). It can also occur in the lungs, brain, teeth, kidneys, tonsils, liver, perineum, hair follicle, and bones.
Why does it develop?
It is a defensive mechanism of the tissue. The bacteria which enters the body destroys the body cells and results in the release of cytokines. This cytokine causes white blood cells to proliferate near that area by increasing regional blood flow. All these materials with killed bacteria and kill white blood cells collect in the cavity and localize the infection by forming a capsule around it. This capsule prevents further spread of infection to the adjacent organs.
How to diagnose it?
A superficial abscess does not require any investigation as compared to deep abscess. Investigations, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging can be used to diagnose the deep abscesses.
What is the treatment available for it?
Following are the treatments which are given most commonly to treat the abscess:
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!