Medical Glossary for Diseases and Complications (A-Z)
An absence seizure is a sudden lapse of consciousness characterized by a blank or ‘absent’ stare. It commonly affects children than adults. Although the cause of absence seizure is unknown, it occurs when there is an abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It may also be due to the genetic predisposition of a person. Usually, children stop having these seizures as they grow into their teen years.
Acne is a skin disease that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne primarily affects face, upper part of the chest and back. Acne is most common among teenagers affecting 80-90% of them worldwide. Depending on the severity, acne can lead to anxiety, reduced self esteem and depression.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that can affect the spine. It causes swelling in the disks between the vertebrae. The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but genetic and immune factors may be involved. It often runs in families.
Anorexia in Patients With Cancer
Anorexia or loss of appetite is commonly observed in patients with cancer. While some patients with cancer are anorexic when they are diagnosed with cancer, some people develop anorexia during different stages of cancer. At times, anorexia can also occur while receiving treatment for cancer.
Appendicitis is inflammation of Appendix, a finger shaped pouch extending from colon on the right side of abdomen. Appendicitis causes severe pain in your abdomen, generally starting from navel and then moves. Appendix doesn’t serve any purpose and hence surgical removal is generally the standard treatment of Appendicitis.
Are You Aware of Jaundice in Newborn Babies?
Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies and generally results in a yellowish discolouration of the skin and the eyes due to increased bilirubin levels in blood. Jaundice may also arise due to insufficient breast-feeding, substances produced in mother’s milk that increases the baby’s bilirubin levels or due to blood group mismatch between the mother and baby. It is generally a mild condition and improves on its own within 1 or 2 weeks. In rare cases, it may be dangerous leading to deafness or brain damage.
Asthma is a condition affecting the lungs in which air passages narrow, swell and produce extra mucus. This makes breathing difficult and can often lead to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Asthma can’t be cured but it’s symptoms can be controlled. Since asthma changes over time, it is important to track allergens and irritants and work with your doctor to adjust or change treatment as needed.
Atrial Fibrillation(AF) is abnormal, irregular and often rapid heart rate that leads to heart palpitations, fainting, shortness of breath and chest pain. During AF, heart’s two upper chambers beat irregularly and out of sync with heart’s two lower chambers. AF can lead to formation of blood clots in heart that may circulate to other organs and cause blockage of blood flow. AF is treated with medications to slow the heart rate and alter heart’s electrical system.
Biliary Atresia is a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally low, blocked or absent. Biliary Atresia can be acquired as a birth defect in newborn infants or can be acquired due to a viral infection of the liver soon after the birth. Yellowing of the skin, pale stools, dark urine and swollen abdomen are the symptoms. The only effective treatments are surgeries such as the Kasai procedure and liver transplantation.
Bladder stone is a stone found in the urinary bladder. Bladder stones are generally formed when urine in your bladder becomes concentrated or when you are dehydrated. This allows for minerals like calcium and magnesium turn into crystallized stones. Symptoms include severe abdominal and lower back pain, difficulty in urination and blood in urine. Small bladder stones are generally passed out through urine but you may need to have others removed.
A bone biopsy is a procedure in which bone samples are removed (with a special biopsy needle or during the surgery) to determine if cancer, infection or any other bone disorder is present.
Two types of procedures can be used to conduct a bone biopsy:
1) Needle biopsy: A local anaesthetic agent is administered, and the needle is injected through the skin directly into the bone to obtain a sample.
2) Open biopsy: General anaesthesia is administered and a larger incision is made through the skin to expose an area of the bone. If needed, the doctor may perform any surgical procedure depending on the findings.
Breast cancer is cancer that develops from the breast tissue. Although it can occur to both men and women, breast cancer is far more common in women. Breast cancer is a global disease and is becoming the most common cancer in India. Symptoms include lump in the breast, change in breast shape, fluids coming from nipple or a red scaly patch of skin. Breast cancer survival rates have increased and steady drop in the number of deaths can be noticed in recent years largely due to increased awareness, early detection and personalized approach to disease.
Bronchiolitis causes congestion in bronchioles, the smallest air passages of the lungs. Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in infants and children of less than two years of age. It starts off with symptoms similar to common cold but progresses to coughing, wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Symptoms lasts for several weeks, sometimes even a month but generally children get better with supportive care at home.
Can Changes in Weather Trigger a Headache?
It has been observed that changes in weather can trigger headaches and migraine attacks in certain individuals. Changes in weather can affect the chemicals in the brain.
Weather changes that can trigger a headache include:
Changes in atmospheric pressure
Changes in humidity
Changes in temperatures
Extremely dry and dusty conditions
Other environmental factors, such as smoke, intense odours or bright lights can also trigger headaches. Many individuals refrain from participating in outdoor activities and stay away from places which are polluted by smoke.
Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which the heart has been damaged and is unable to pump enough blood to the organs of the body. It is most often caused by severe heart attack. Cardiogenic shock is rare, but it's often fatal if not treated immediately. If treated immediately, about half the people who develop the condition survive.
Caring For Your Joints
A joint is the connection between two bones. Joints and their surrounding structures allow you to bend the elbows and knees. Keeping your weight under control is the best thing you can do to take care of your joints. Losing weight reduces the pressure on your knees, hips and back, which helps prevent joint injuries. Low-impact exercises such as swimming or bicycling help strengthen joints.
A chemical burn is the irritation or destruction of body tissue, such as skin, caused by direct exposure to a chemical or its fumes. It may occur at home, work or school.
Most common household products that can cause chemical burns are:
Drain or toilet bowl cleaners
Colon Cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum located in large intestine, the lower part of digestive system. Signs and symptoms include blood in the stools, change in bowel movements, weight loss and feeling tired all the time. Globally, colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer making up to 10% of all cases. Treatment for colon cancer include combination of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy.
Common Facts About Cold
Cold is caused by the cold virus and not by the cold weather.
Your nose gets blocked not because of the mucus, but because of the infection-fighting cells that cause the blood vessels and tissues of your nose to swell up.
Women catch cold more often than men.
The colour of your mucus (yellow to green) is because of the presence of increased infection-fighting cells in the nasal area.
Any healthy person with a normal immune system can get a cold; the person need not have a weak immune system to be susceptible to the virus.
Blowing your nose, sneezing and coughing may remove dust and pollen, but not the virus, and the virus can spread to other people.
Congenital heart defect
Congenital heart defect is a condition of the heart that is present at birth. If a child has congenital heart defect it means that the child was born with a problem in the structure of his or her heart. Some congenital heart defects are small and don’t need treatment such as a small hole between heart chambers that closes on its own with time. Other congenital heart defects can be complex and may require a series of surgeries over a period of time.
Contrast Materials Used in CT Scan
Contrast materials are chemical agents used in various diagnostic procedures such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound to improve the quality of pictures of the parts of human body. These materials allow the radiologists to differentiate normal from abnormal conditions, leading to diagnose medical conditions better. Some of the common types of Contrast Materials used are
Iodine-based contrasts and barium sulphate (used in X-rays and CT scan examination)
Gadolinium (used in MRI)
Saline (salt water) and air
Microbubbles and microspheres (in ultrasound imaging examinations, particularly for the examination of the heart)
Coping With Diarrhoea and Digestive Distress
There are some types of food that may trigger diarrhoea and digestive problems.
1) Fried Food: Avoid having fried food,as it contains high fat
2) Citrus Fruits: Avoid citrus fruits, as they may cause intestinal distress in some people because of their high fibre content
3) Artificial Sugar: Excessive amount of any food with artificial sweeteners may cause diarrhoea
4) Too Much Fibre: Avoid having excessive quantities of foods that are high in fibre,as they may cause gas and bloating in some people
5) Fructose:Avoid foods sweetened with fructose, including sodas, candy, fruit juice and pastries,as they may lead to diarrhoea, bloating, cramping and other distress
6) Spicy Food: Eating spicy food may cause heart burn and indigestion in some people
7) Dairy Products
Lactose-intolerant patients should avoid dairy products,as they may cause diarrhoea, bloating and gas.
Coping With Sprains and Strains
Most sprains and strains can be managed at home. If the injury is minor you can administer:
It stands for:Protection: Protect the injured area by using an appropriate support. An example is to use lace-up shoes that reach up to the lower part of the leg and cover the ankle in case of ankle injuries.
Rest: Avoid activity when injured. Rest your injured muscle or joint.
Ice: Apply ice wrapped in a damp towel to the injured area for 15 to 20 min once every 2-3 hours.
Compression: Apply crepe bandage snugly, but not too tightly, to the injured area to limit the swelling and movement. Remove the bandage before going to sleep.
Elevation: Keep the injured area elevated and supported on a pillow, most of the time.This helps reduce swelling.
Corns and Callus
Callus is a toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure or irritation. A corn is a specially shaped callus of dead skin that usually occurs on thin, hairless and smooth surfaces of skin, especially on the dorsal surface of toes and fingers. Corns and callus mostly develop on feet and toes or hands and fingers. Generally corns and callus disappear once the source of friction is avoided. If you have diabetes, however, seek your doctor advice as they may lead to greater complications.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. The inflammation caused by Crohn's disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Signs and Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and weight loss. Even though there are no medications or surgical procedures that can cure Crohn’s disease, therapies can greatly reduce signs and symptoms, maintain remission and prevent relapse.
Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. Shedding of dead skin cells is normal and is rarely serious. However, some people experience unusual amount of dandruff chronically or due to trigger agents. This can result in irritation and redness of scalp. There is no true cure to dandruff. However, most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with shampoos.
DASHDiet for Hypertension
The abbreviated term DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. As the name itself suggests, it is a form of diet that is beneficial to treat or prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). The DASH diet is also helpful in the prevention of other conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Moreover, it is also great for people who want to lose weight as it helps you eat more nutritious food that is high in protein, fibre, calcium, potassium and magnesium and at the same time low in calorie intake.
The DASH Diet
The diet plan given below if followed regularly will not only help you maintain good health but also keep several life-threatening diseases such as hypertension at bay.
Sodium intake lower than 1500 mg (2 or 3 teaspoons of salt) per day.
More of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy.
Moderate intake of fish, poultry, nuts and whole grains.
Less amounts of sweets, red meat and fats.
Alcohol intake should be limited to a maximum of two drinks in men and one drink in women per day.
Dealing With Diarrhoea During Pregnancy
Diarrhoea is common during pregnancy, especially during the early stages. Most of the cases of diarrhoea during pregnancy do not harm the baby, but dehydrates the mother-to-be affecting the blood flow to the foetus. However, the foetus may be at risk in diarrhoea caused due to infections, particularly during the second and third trimesters.
Diarrhoea caused due to change in diet often subsides on its own. However, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Drinking plenty of water, ginger tea, or water with a spoon of honey is also helpful in preventing dehydration. Anti-diarrhoeal medications can be taken as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks, fried fatty foods, spices, red meat, chocolates and candies during this time. Include soups, carrot, potato and yogurt in your diet.
In severe conditions like blood in stools, fever, severe vomiting, severe stomach pain and cramping, increased heart rate or decreased urine production, consult a doctor immediately.
Dehydration occurs when the amount of water that a person consumes is less than that lost from the body through water vapor in breath, sweat, urine and stools. If severe dehydration is not treated timely, it can lead to serious complications such as seizures, permanent brain damage, death. Prevent dehydration by drinking lots of fluids every day, even if you are well and avoid exercising and exposure to sun during summer.
Diabetes refers to a group of diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. If you have diabetes it means you have too much glucose in your blood which can lead to serious health problems. Diabetes is caused either due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin(Type 1 diabetes) or the body cells not responding properly to the insulin produced(Type 2 diabetes). Prevention and treatment involve a healthy diet, physical exercise, maintaining a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Over time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.
Diet and Constipation
Constipation is a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces. Include the following foods in your diet to manage constipation:
Whole grains found in brown rice, cereals and breads
Vegetables such as beans, carrots, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, peas, squash, etc.
Fruits like papaya, figs, apricots, peaches, prunes, pineapple, pears, etc.
Raisins, oatmeal and legumes
Fibre supplements after consulting with your doctor.
Disequilibrium is a type of dizziness that occurs commonly in the elderly; it is a condition in which a person feels unsteady while walking, as if he or she will fall. Causes for disequilibrium include problems in the inner ear, vision problems, nerve damage in the legs, muscle weakness, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease or side effects of some medications. Regular physical and intellectual activities, healthy diet containing vitamin D, calcium and proteins will help in managing Disequilibrium.
Dizziness is a term used to describe a range of feelings such as faint, woozy, unsteady or weak. Dizziness that creates the false sense that you and your surroundings are moving is called Vertigo. About 50% of the cases reporting dizziness are due to Vertigo. Other types of dizziness are Disequilibrium (sensation of being off balance) and Presyncope (lightheadedness). Treatment for dizziness depends on the cause and patient specific symptoms.
In urology, painful urination is referred to as Dysuria. Difficulty in urination is also sometimes associated with the word dysuria. Dysuria is typically described as a burning or stinging sensation. The most common cause of dysuria is urinary tract infection. Other causes include STD, bladder stones, bladder tumours and virtually any condition of the prostate. Doctors generally prescribe an antibiotic for treatment of dysuria based on the patient’s condition.
Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis is a condition that makes your skin inflamed or irritated. Sometimes it can be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. Even though it’s common in children, it can affect any age group. Which ever part it may affect, Eczema is always itchy and irritating. Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened or scaly. No cure has been found yet but medication and constant care relieves from itching and prevents future outbreaks.
Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorder, more specifically central nervous system disorder, that affects the nerve cell activity in brain. Epilepsy causes seizures or periods of unusual behaviour ranging from blankly staring to vigorous shaking of body and sometimes loss of consciousness. Causes are unknown although most people develop epilepsy as a result of brain injury, stroke, brain tumor and birth defects. Medications and sometimes surgery can control seizures in 80% of people with epilepsy. Children with birth defect of epilepsy sometimes outgrow their condition with age.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is the inability to develop or maintain an erection of penis during sexual activity. Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves brain, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, hormones and emotions. Hence the causes can be either physical or psychological or sometimes a combination of both. Clogged blood vessels, diabetes, obesity, stress, depression are some of the most common causes. Impotence has serious psychological issues as it can affect self-confidence, masculine self image and lead to relationship problems. Treatment depends on the cause and range from oral medication to surgery.
Esophagitis is inflammation of esophagus, the muscular tube that connects the mouth and stomach. Esophagitis causes painful, difficult swallowing of food often accompanied by chest pain. Stomach acids baking up into esophagus, infection and allergies are the cause of esophagitis. Treatment generally depends on the underlying cause and severity of the tissue damage.
Facts About Fever
Many people lose sleep and stress themselves out when their child has a fever. The following facts could help you understand your child’s fever better:
Fevers are generally good for children as they help the body fight infections. A fever activates the immune system of our body and protects the body.
Seizures caused by fever stop within a few minutes and are not harmful. Only about 4% of children experience such seizures
All fevers need not be treated. Fevers causing discomfort or temperatures above 102°F need to be treated.
It is not true that all fevers cause brain damage. Fevers with temperatures above 108°F could cause brain damage, which can occur only in extreme environmental conditions
Fevers cause loss of fluids from your body and hence you require more fluids. Ensure that your child is hydrated well.
Fainting, or syncope, is a sudden and brief loss of consciousness due to decreased blood supply to the brain. It may or may not have any medical significance, but it is important to treat fainting as a medical emergency until its cause is known. People suffering from certain medical conditions are at high risk to faint. The conditions include Heart abnormalities, Diabetes, Anxiety or panic disorders, Dehydration, Low blood sugar. It can be prevented by taking simple precautions:
Avoid hot rooms, if you have a tendency to faint.
Take care to getup slowly from a lying-down position.
If you feel light headed or dizzy, either lie or sit down and place your head in between your knees.This will help increase the blood supply to your brain and prevent fainting.
Farsightedness or hyperopia is a common defect of the vision caused by an imperfection in the eye in which you can see distant objects clearly but nearby objects appear blurry. Farsightedness is usually present at birth and tends to run in the families. Signs and symptoms include blurry vision, headaches, tiring of the eyes, difficulty in depth perception and eye strain. Treatment generally includes contact lenses and eyeglasses but people also go for laser surgery and refractive lens exchange surgery.
A febrile seizure is a seizure associated with a high body temperature but without any serious underlying health issues. They commonly occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. A typical febrile seizure lasts for less than five minutes and they’re usually harmless. They often occur due to high temperature viral fever. The body begins to twitch and the child remains unconscious for the period of seizure. Keeping your child safe, comforting him or her after the seizure and following medications will generally be suffice as treatment.
Infertility is the inability of a person to reproduce by natural means. Female infertility refers to a woman who is unable to conceive as well as being unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. An estimated of 48 million women are affected by female infertility with highest prevalence in South Asia. Age, smoking, sexually transmitted infections, being overweight or underweight can all affect the fertility of a woman. Genetic factors also contribute to being infertile. Treatment options depend on the underlying problem but maintaining a healthy lifestyle, treating or preventing existing diseases, not delaying parenthood etc. can be followed to prevent infertility.
Fibroadenoma are solid, noncancerous tumors that appear in the breast of adolescent girls and women under the age of 30. They are among the most common breast lumps in young women. Fibroadenoma might feel like a marble in breast, moving easily under skin when touched. It is mostly hormone related and can become bigger during pregnancy and even shrink after menopause, when hormone levels decrease. Unlike typical lumps from breast cancer, fibroadenomas are painless and easy to remove.
Foetal echocardiography is a procedure that uses ultrasound waves to detect any congenital heart problems in the baby’s heart. This test is usually performed during 18-24 weeks of pregnancy. The test is performed to detect any heart abnormalities in a baby before he/she is born. The test can detect:
Blood flow through the heart
Heart sounds or rhythm
If the heart is functioning properly or not
Structures of the baby’s heart
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens such as pollen and dust mites. The symptoms usually start immediately after the person is exposed to a specific allergen that causes allergy and may include:
Runny nose or nasal congestion
Facial pain and pressure in the sinuses
Watering and itching in the eyes
Swelling in the eyes
Blue discolouration of the skin under the eyes
A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, most often by a build-up of fat, cholesterol and other substances, which form a plaque in the arteries that feed the heart (coronary arteries). The interrupted blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle. Shortness of breath
Pressure, pain or squeezing in your chest that may spread to your arm, neck, jaw or back, sweating or a cold sweat, dizziness are some of the symptoms. Avoid smoking, Check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, regular exercise, maintain healthy weight and balanced diet are some of the ways to prevent a heart atatck.
Heart Tests That Your Doctor May Recommend
Routine heart check-ups are essential to prevent any risk that may result in heart attack or any major heart problems. Your doctor may recommend tests that may help him or her know what exactly is going on in the blood vessels that carry blood throughout your body.
1) Carotid Ultrasound
This test is performed to detect any blockages that may lead to stroke.
2) Coronary Calcium (Ultrafast CT Scan)
This test is performed to measure the amount of calcium build up in the plaque in your arteries.
3) Heart CT Scan (Coronary CT Angiogram)
This test is performed to detect any blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Heat stroke is a condition that occurs when the body temperature becomes very high due to excessive exposure to heat. It can result from exposure to hot environment, strenuous activity, wearing excessive clothes, dehydration and alcohol consumption. Heatstroke requires emergency medical help. Children and elderly people are more prone to heatstroke. It's important to treat it immediately as heatstrokes can be very dangerous leading to vital organ damage or even death. While waiting for the emergency team, you can try the following measures:
Get to a shady or air-conditioned place
Cool off with a wet sheet and a fan
Take a cool shower or bath
Drink plenty of fluids
Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
There are some easy home remedies for menstrual cramps that can help reduce the pain.
Drinking water helps avoid painful bloating during menstruation. Warm and hot water is better for cramps; hot water helps increase the blood flow in the skin and relaxes the cramped muscles. You can also eat water-based food to increase hydration, like lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon and berries.
Foods high in calcium in your diet can help reduce muscle cramping during menstruation. Foods with high calcium content include: Dairy products including milk, Almonds, Leafy green vegetables, Cinnamon.
Add a small piece of ginger to hot water and drink it; this may help relieve pain.
Placing a hot pack on the abdomen and lower back may help relieve pain. Taking a warm bath or placing a hot towel also reduces pain.
Exercise releases endorphins, which act as a natural pain killer and mood lifter. Moderate activity such as walking or yoga also helps prevent or reduce menstrual symptoms.
Home Remedies for Sore Throat
A throat infection caused by bacteria needs to be treated with an antibiotic, whereas those caused by viruses may be relieved by some home remedies. These include:
1) Get adequate rest.
2) Gargle with warm salt water at least once every hour.
3) Consume plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially hot fluids.
4) Humidify your surroundings with cool or warm mist using a vaporiser or a humidifier; ensure that your surroundings are not too damp or cold.
5) Avoid smoking and using other tobacco products; also, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.
6) Chew lozenges or cough drops.
7) Try drinking chicken soup or warm tea with some honey.
8) Try steam inhalation for 5 to 10 minutes and repeat several times a day; be careful to not burn yourself.
9) Avoid caffeine as it can cause dehydration.
Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men are. Some of the home remedies that can help ease the symptoms of urinary tract infections are:
1) Drink plenty of water. It helps flush out the bacteria, thus reducing the infection.
2) Include unsweetened cranberry juice/tablets in your diet. This keeps the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, thus flushing them out.
3) Taking vitamin C supplements makes your urine more acidic and helps fight against bacteria.
4) Include curds in your daily diet. Curds contain probiotics, which are good bacteria that help keep off the bad bacteria.
5) Use Warmth to Soothe the Pain. Applying a heating pad at low temperature can help soothe the pain
6) Have healthy foods such as high-fibre carbohydrates and healthy fats such as olive oil that aid in digestion
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners that can irritate your bladder.
How Diabetes Affects Wound Healing
Diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose level is high. Foot ulcers are common wounds which affects diabetic patients. Wound healing is delayed in diabetic patients. The factors that influence wound healing in diabetic patients include:
1) Blood glucose level. Elevated blood glucose level stiffens the arteries and cause narrowing of the blood vessels which can adversely affect wound healing.
2) Poor circulation. Narrowed blood vessels lead to decreased blood flow, nutrients and oxygen to a wound. This results in reduced ability of the body to fight infections and delay in wound healing.
3) Reduced immunity. Poorly functioning immune system in diabetic patients puts them at a risk of developing an infection.
Iron-Deficiency Anaemia in Pregnancy
Anaemia is the most common blood-related disorder that may occur during pregnancy. The incidence of anaemia is noted to be as high as 40-80% in India.
Consequences of Iron-Deficiency Anaemia in Pregnant Women
An increase in tiredness
An increased vulnerability to illnesses and infections
An increased risk of infections after delivery
An increased risk of depression after delivery
Preterm delivery or giving birthto a low birth-weight baby
An increased risk of stillbirth
Recommendations for Iron Supplements during pregnancy
An amount of 0.8 to 1 mg in the first trimester
An amount of 4 to 5 mg in the second trimester
More than 6 mg in the third trimester
Know the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the heart does not receive blood and there is no oxygen supply to the heart. Continuous lack of oxygen causes the heart muscles to die.Signs and Symptoms:Chest pain or discomfort like a pressure, squeezing, heartburn or indigestion
Pain in your arms, shoulders, jaw, back, neck or above your belly button
Difficulty breathing during rest or on mild physical activity
Nausea and vomiting
Feeling tired without any reason
Dizziness or light-headedness
Remember that the signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary in different people. Some may experience only one symptom and others may experience more than one
The sooner your treat a heart attack, lesser is the damage caused to your heart; hence, immediate medical management is required.
Know What to Shop for Your Baby
As your pregnancy advances, it is time for you to plan things for your baby apart from your maternity clothing. Here are some handy tips that may help you prepare a shopping list for your baby:
1) Baby clothes
2) Nappies: You may need 10 to 12 of them per day. If you prefer using reusable nappies, buy at least 15 of them.
3) Feeding accessories: Nursing bras and breast pads.
4) Bedding for your baby: A Moses basket, crib or cot with mattress
5) Sheets and cellular blankets, or a fitted bottom sheet and a baby sleeping bag
6) A lightweight, cotton jersey or cotton wrap to secure your baby during the early weeks
7) A changing bag: To hold all small and big things that your baby may need whenever you go for an outing.
Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Deal with Acne
Here are some tips to be followed to change your lifestyle that can make a huge difference in managing your acne better.
1) Get Adequate Sleep. Stress increases the production of hormones that worsen acne. Sleep helps reduce stress.
2) Reduce Sugar Intake. Consume a low-sugar diet, which includes more of whole grains, beans and vegetables and less of white pasta, rice, bread and sugar.
3) Drink Plenty of Water. Water helps flush out internal toxins and hydrates your skin.
4) Apply a Sunscreen Cream. Apply a sunscreen before going out in the sun.
5) Cleanse Your Face. Wash your face twice a day. This helps prevent clogging of the pores in your skin
6) Exfoliate. Gently scrub your face few times a week.
7) Exercise. It can reduce stress and thus help control acne. It increases blood circulation to the skin and also strengthens the immune system. Shower immediately after exercising as sweat can worsen acne.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic test that uses magnetic and radio waves to produce images of the structures in the body. It can be used to produce 3D images from different angles.Benefits of MRI ScanProvides very detailed diagnostic images of the organs and tissues in the body
Provides unique information that other tests are unable to
Is a painless procedure
It does not use radiationCautions and Precautions While Conducting MRI ScansMetallic objects. Remove all metallic objects such as watches, keys and jewellery that may alter the image.
Risks during pregnancy. MRI scans are generally considered safe during pregnancy, and there are not many studies that have shown that it harms the unborn child.
MRI scans may cause warming of the body, and therefore it is recommended to avoid the scan during the first 3 months of pregnancy, unless it is absolutely essential.
Myths and Facts about Epilepsy
Myth 1: Having a seizure means you have epilepsy.
Fact 1: Not all seizures are due to epilepsy. Some seizures may be due to excessive drinking, lack of sleep or medication. A person experiencing 2 or more seizures more than 24 hours apart, with no identifiable trigger, has epilepsy.
Myth 2: People with epilepsy are mentally unstable.
Fact 2: Epilepsy is not a mental illness, but a physical problem with no single identifiable cause.
Myth 3: You can easily predict when a seizure is going to occur.
Fact 3: It is difficult to predict a seizure, although few patients can get a brief feeling called aura seconds before a seizure begins.
Myth 4: Epilepsy is most common in children.
Fact 4: It can develop at any age and is common in both the young and elderly.
Myth 5: A person could choke on or swallow his/her tongue during a seizure.
Fact 5: This is impossible. The person may bite his tongue during a seizure.
Myth 6: It is not safe for a woman with epilepsy to get pregnant.
Fact 6: Epilepsy has a minimum effect on the baby’s development. However, if an epileptic woman is on medication, there is a slight risk of birth defects.The neurologist and obstetrician could collaborate closely to reduce this risk.
Myth 7: A person with epilepsy cannot live a full, normal life.
Fact 7: Such people can live a full, normal life, but need to avoid extremes in lifestyle.
Myths and Facts about Food Poisoning
Myth 1: Food that drops on the floor is safe to eat if picked up within 3 to 5 seconds.
Fact 1: Floors are usually contaminated with harmful bacteria that will come in contact with the food. Food that drops on floor should not be eaten or mixed with other foods.
Myth 2: Washing hands briefly before start preparing food is enough to protect from food poisoning.
Fact 2: Hands need to be washed properly before or after touching food, after using bath room, changing diapers, or handling pets. Ideally, hands should be washed with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds, scrubbing between the fingers, under the nails, up till the wrists.
Myth 3: Cooking kills bacteria and thus prevents food poisoning.
Fact 3: Though cooking kills bacteria to some extent, some bacteria produce spores and toxins that are not destroyed by cooking. This may cause food poisoning. Good food safety handling practice can minimize the risk.
Myth 4: Only foodst hat look, taste or smell bad cause food poisoning.
Fact 4: No, food does not need to look, smell, or taste bad to cause food poisoning. This may be due to the ability of some bacteria to produce harmful toxins in food.
Myth 5: Food poisoning is not serious; it is just a stomach upset.
Fact 5: Most cases of food poisoning are mild and it usually resolves in 1 to 2 days. In some it can be serious cause of death. Avoid food poisoning by maintaining good hygiene like cleaning, cooking, chilling, and cross-contamination.
Myths and Facts about Sleep
Myth 1: Your body can adjust to different sleep schedules easily.
Fact 1: Your body takes more than a week to adjust to changes in time zones or switching to job shift timings.
Myth 2: Extra sleep hours can ward off daytime fatigue.
Fact 2: Quality of sleep is more important than quantity of sleep. Eight to nine hours of sleep may still not keep away fatigue if the quality of sleep is poor.
Myth 3: Sleeping for longer during weekends can make up for lost sleep during weekdays.
Fact 3: Following this may not help, but it may disturb your sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult for you to wake up on time on Monday mornings.
Myth 4: Feeling sleepy in the daytime means that the person is not getting enough sleep at night.
Fact 4: Feeling drowsy during the day even after sleeping well at night could signify a medical condition.
Myth 5: The older you get, lesser the sleep you require.
Fact 5: Sleep patterns change with age, but not sleep needs. Older people may sleep less at night and more during day.
Myth 6: Your brain rests during sleep.
Fact 6: The body rests during sleep, but the brain remains active and controls many body functions.
Myths and Facts of Breast Cancer
Myth 1:I can’t get breast cancer as none of my relatives have it.
Fact 1:Majority of the women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. However, a woman who has a positive family history is at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than a woman who doesn’t.
Myth 2: If you have a family history of breast cancer, I will also definitely develop it.
Fact 2: Not all women having relatives with breast cancer develop the disease. Genetic tests can help determine your risk of breast cancer. Tell your doctor if you have relatives with breast cancer because it will help the doctor decide if genetic testing is required. If the genetic test is positive, your doctor may recommend screening tests such as MRI scans and mammograms. These can help identify the disease earlier.
Myth 3: MRI is better than mammography in detecting breastcancer
Fact 3: MRI and mammography have their own benefits and disadvantages in detecting breast cancer. Owing to its sensitivity, MRI is able to detect more cases of cancer than mammography. However, MRI may also indicate breast cancer when you actually don’t have it (false positive), leading to unnecessary biopsies. Hence, it is currently not recommended as an initial test to identify breast cancer. Talk to your doctor to find out what option is best for you.
Myth 4: Because the lump in my breast is painful, it cannot be cancer.
Fact 4: Breast cancer is usually painless. However, some breast cancers can be painful. Inflammatory breast cancer can manifest as redness, swelling, tenderness and warmth in the breast.
Myth 5: Any breast lump is probably a cancer.
Fact 5: Most of the breast lumps are non-cancerous. It may be just a sac or an abnormal growth. Some lumps appear or disappear during menstruation.
Myths and Facts of COPD
Myth 1: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be cured.
Fact 1: COPD cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Treatment can slow down the destruction of the lungs.
Myth 2: COPD affects only the lungs.
Fact 2: COPD not only affects the lungs, but can also increase the risk of heart disease. It can also result in high blood pressure and depression in the long run.
Myth 3: COPD occurs only in the elderly.
Fact 3: Yes, COPD mainly occurs in older people who have smoked for many years. In rare cases, it can be seen in younger people.
Myth 4: It is too late to quit smoking.
Fact 4: Even if you have already developed COPD, quitting smoking can reduce your symptoms and slow down progression of the disease.
Myth 5: COPD only strikes smokers.
Fact 5: The main cause of COPD is smoking as well as exposure to second-hand smoke. Long-term exposure to air pollution also increases the risk. Exposure to gases or fumes at the workplace can also lead to COPD.
Myths and Facts of Dengue
Myth 1: Any type of mosquito can cause dengue fever.
Fact 1: No, all types of mosquitoes do not carry the germs that cause dengue fever. Only the species Aedes Aegypti carries the germs causing dengue fever.
Myth 2: Vaccination can prevent dengue fever.
Fact 2: There is no vaccination to prevent dengue. There are certain vaccinations that may help to subside the fever and ease other symptoms. You can prevent dengue by protecting yourself from mosquito bites.
Myth 3: Mosquitoes that carry dengue virus only breed in sewer water or river water.
Fact 3: Mosquitoes breed in any stagnant water and not only in sewers or river water. You should empty stagnant water from old tyres, pools, trash cans and flower pots.
Myth 4: Antibiotics are required to treat dengue fever.
Fact 4: Dengue is caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not used to treat dengue fever. Currently, there are no medicines to treat the viral infection.
Myth 5: Do the dengue-carrying mosquitoes only bite during the day?
Fact 5: Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, but they may bite anytime during the day, especially when indoors, in shady areas or during cloudy weather.
Myths and Facts of Falls
Myth 1: Medications cannot be the cause of my fall.
Fact 1: Some medications can help reduce a person’s risk of falling by treating conditions such as arthritis and low blood pressure. There are certain other medications that have side effects, such as dizziness, fatigue, confusion or weakness, that can increase the risk of falling.
Myth 2: Muscle strength and flexibility once lost cannot be regained.
Fact 2: As a person’s age increases, 20% to 40% of the muscle tissue is lost. Beginning an exercise program can help in regaining the strength and flexibility of the muscles and prevent falls.
Myth 3: Falls are no big deal. They happen to everyone and do not cause any serious problems.
Fact 3: One in three people older than 65years experience a fall that requires medical attention. Falls can lead to hip fractures and other serious injuries that can lead to death.
Myth 4: Unlike balancing exercises, aerobics and stretching exercises do not help prevent falls.
Fact 4: Besides balancing exercises, aerobics and stretching or strengthening exercises can also help prevent falls.
Myth 5: It is better that I don't mention my fear that I may fall to family members to avoid worrying them.
Fact 5: It is better to discuss it with anyone else who is in the position to help such as your doctor and family members. Collectively, you can reduce the risk of falls.
Myths and Facts of Influenza
Myth 1: Influenza is not a serious illness.
Fact 1: In the past, influenza was considered a serious condition, which caused hundreds of deaths. Influenza can be a serious illness in people older than 65 years of age and in other high-risk groups.
Myth 2: Influenza vaccine causes severe reactions or side effects.
Fact 2: Influenza vaccines are safe. Most people who get vaccination may have redness, soreness or swelling.
In some very rare cases, influenza vaccine may cause Guillain-Barrésyndrome, a rare condition that can cause weakness and paralysis of the body’s muscles.
Myth 3: Getting influenza vaccine every year weakens the immune system.
Fact 3: It does not weaken the immune system, but can increase your immune system’s ability to protect you against the virus.
Myth 4: There is no treatment for the flu.
Fact 4: There are anti-viral drugs that are effective against the flu. These drugs are more effective within 48 hours of having the symptoms. They can reduce the amount of time you are ill and make you less contagious.
Myth 5: Antibiotics can fight flu.
Fact 5: No, antibiotics can fight only bacterial infections. Flu can either be seasonal or swine flu, which is caused by another viral infection.
Myths and Facts of Kidney Stones
Myth 1: Kidney stones are caused by increased calcium intake.
Fact 1: Calcium is one of the major components involved in the formation of stones. However, excessive calcium intake is rarely the cause for stone formation.
Myth 2: Cranberry juice helps prevent stone formation.
Fact 2: No. There is some evidence suggesting that cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections, but it does not have an overall beneficial effect against formation of stones.
Myth 3: Men are more prone to kidney stones.
Fact 3: Although men tend to develop kidney stones more frequently than women, in recent days a number of women and children are also developing kidney stones. In children, they may be due to genetic or metabolic disorders.
Myth 4: Kidney stones are rare.
Fact 4: No. Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. They are becoming a common occurrence in adults.
Myth 5: Water is the only fluid that can help prevent stones.
Fact 5: Drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent stone formation. It does not depend on any particular type of fluid.
Myths and Facts of Osteoporosis
Myth 1: Osteoporosis is rare.
Fact 1: Osteoporosis is a major health issue affecting millions of people every year that causes bones to become weak and porous.
Myth 2: Osteoporosis is inevitable. Why worry about it?
Fact 2: Osteoporosis and fractures are more common in those older than 50 years. The condition is not inevitable. There are three health choices you can make to prevent bone fractures and these are exercise, adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D in the diet.
Myth 3: I cannot get osteoporosis because I am a male.
Fact 3: Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is more common in older women.
Myth 4: Broken bones are the only danger.
Fact 4: Osteoporosis is a serious and fatal condition. Complications of hip replacement surgery for hip fracture can lead to death.
Myth 5: You can feel your bones getting weaker.
Fact 5: Unfortunately, you cannot make out if your bones are weak. You may come to know that your bones are weak only when you have a fracture.
Myth 6: Bones only break during falls.
Fact 6: Most people get their bone fractured due to a fall. However, some people may experience spontaneous fracture due to pressure or stress on the bone even without a fall.
Myths and Facts of Tuberculosis
Myth1: Tuberculosis is hereditary.
Fact 1: No. Tuberculosis is not hereditary. It is an air-borne disease that spreads from one person to another through coughing and sneezing. Tuberculosis can be contracted by anybody.
Myth 2: Tuberculosis can cause lung cancer.
Fact 2: Tuberculosis can increase the risk of but does not always lead to lung cancer.
Myth 3: A positive skin test means you have tuberculosis.
Fact 3: A positive test only confirms that you have been exposed to the tuberculosis bacteria and are infected. It is not necessary that you have the disease if you have a positive skin test.
Myth 4: Only tuberculosis patients need antibiotics.
Fact 4: Tuberculosis is a curable disease with medication. Even if you have the tuberculosis bacteria in your body but do not have the disease, you should receive treatment to prevent yourself from getting sick in the future. Follow your doctor's instructions to ensure that it does not become harder to treat it in the future.
Myth 5: I will automatically get tuberculosis if I am in contact with a tuberculosis patient even once.
Fact 5: Tuberculosis is not easily contracted. If you have been in close contact with someone who has had the disease for a long period of time, there is a risk of developing tuberculosis. Be aware of the symptoms of the disease, so you can consult your doctor if required.
Myth 6: Tuberculosis infection always develops into tuberculosis disease.
Fact 6: Infection with the bacteria does not always lead to tuberculosis disease. Mostly people with a weakened immune system such as those with cancer or HIV infection develop the disease once infected.
Haemorrhoids or piles are swollen cushions of tissue in the anus or lower part of the rectum resulting from bulging of veins. It is due to the straining during bowel movements or increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy.SymptomsPainless bleeding during bowel movements
Itching or irritation in anal region
Pain or discomfort
Swelling around the anus
Lump near the anus which may be sensitive or painful
Leakage of stoolsCausesPiles can develop due to increase in pressure in the lower rectum resulting from:
Straining during bowel movements
Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
Long-standing diarrhoea or constipation
Low-fibre dietHow to manageApply anti-haemorroid cream
Soak your anal area in plain warm water around 10 to 15 minutes,2 to 3 times a day
Keep the anal area clean
Apply ice packs or cold compress on your anus to relieve swelling
Take oral pain relievers as prescribed by doctor which may help to relieve your discomfortPreventionEat high fibre foods
Drink plenty of fluids
Do not strain or hold your breath when passing stools
Precautions and Prevention of Swallowing Objects by Children
Some tips to be followed to prevent common choking hazards for children
Always supervise small children while they are eating
Children should sit up upright while eating
Cut foods in to small pieces and remove seeds
Some food items can cause choking hazards like
Meat, fish with bones, Popcorn, chips, and other such snacks
Candy (especially hard or sticky candy), gum, lollipops, caramels, and jelly beans
Whole grapes, raw vegetables, raw peas, fruits, seeds, carrots, celery, and cherries
Dryfruits and nuts
Ice cubes and cheese cubes
Some household Items/toys can cause hazards such as
Latex balloons, coins, marbles, toys with small parts, small balls, pen or marker caps, button type batteries, medicine syringes, and screws
Any toy or other object that is labelled as a potential choking hazard
Preventing Any Condition That Can Lead to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Children
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency life-saving measure performed on people whose heart has stopped beating or who are not breathing. This method supports blood flow and breathing until medical help arrives.
The steps of CPR are C-A-B:
C: Chest compression
CPR should be performed if the victim has following symptoms:
Not able to breathe
No pulse or heartbeat
Preventing Back Injuries
Back injuries can occur while lifting objects, especially in people older than 30 years. With increasing age, the muscles become less flexible and bones get brittle, which makes you prone to back injuries. Here are some tips to prevent back injuries while lifting objects:
Before you lift any object, assess how heavy it is by pushing the object slightly with your hands or feet to see how easily it moves. This can give you a fair sense of the weight and whether you will be able to lift it.
Make sure that the object you are trying to lift or any content within it doesn’t move around while lifting.
Make sure you have a good grip on the object before lifting it
Stand close to the object before lifting and keep it close to your body after lifting it
Avoid arching your back. Bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting to avoid straining your back
Stretch your legs and back before lifting any object
Avoid walking on slippery and uneven surfaces while carrying objects
Tighten your stomach muscles while lifting or placing down objects
Squat while placing objects down
Do not attempt to lift an object if you feel it is too heavy for you. Get help in such cases
Prevention of Choking in Children
Choking occurs when any object or food gets lodged in the throat or windpipe. Sometimes,the lodged food/object blocks the flow of the air, resulting in breathing difficulty.Signs and Symptoms of ChokingDifficulty in speaking
Unable to cough
Difficulty in breathing
Bluish discolouration of lips, skin or nails due to lack of oxygenChoking HazardsMost common objects that children may choke on include:
Toys with small partsPreventionNever leave a small child unsupervised while eating
Keep small objects such as buttons, small toys and nuts away from children
Do not allow your child to crawl while eating
Cut fruits/vegetables into small pieces and remove any seeds
Prevention of Head injury
Traumatic brain injury is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal functions of the brain.General prevention tipsSupervise young children at all times
Do not let your children to use sports equipment or play sports which are unsuitable for their age
Do not let your children play on hard surfaces
Do not wear any clothing that can interfere with your vision
Do not participate in sports when your are not feeling well
Discard and replace sporting equipment
Always wear seat belts while driving
Never drive while you are drunk
Remove hazards in home that may cause any injury
Secure rugs and loose electric cords
Wear helmets and head gear during sports to prevent any head injuries
Use safety gates and install window guards to protect the toddlers from any injury
Prevention of Nosebleeds
Minor nosebleeds usually stop with self-care. If you are having heavy or frequent nose bleeding, you should visit your doctor.
Tips to be followed that may reduce your risk of developing nosebleeds or having a repeat episode
Avoid blowing your nose hard
Avoid lifting or straining
Avoid picking your nose with a finger
Avoid removing the crusts
Uplift your head on one or two pillows while sleeping
Keep your blood pressure under control
Apply a light coating of a moisturising ointment such as Vaseline inside your nose
Avoid low humidity, as it is a common cause of nose bleeds
If your nose becomes dry, breathe moist air or apply a moisturising ointment inside your nostrils. Do not apply anything inside your nose while you are still bleeding
Saline nasal spray helps moisten your nasal tissuePreventionTrim your children’s fingernails to prevent a bleed in case they nose pick
Discourage your children from nose picking
Discourage your children from putting any object into their nostrils
Prevention of Rickets/Osteomalacia
Several steps can help prevent rickets/osteomalacia. Some of these steps are
Diet. Ensure your child has a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of calcium and vitamin D
Oily fish such as salmon, sardine and mackerel
Fortified fat spreads
Fortified breakfast cereals
Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
Green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage
Soya beans and tofu
Sunlight. It is a good source for vitamin D
Hands and face should be exposed to sunlight for 10-15 min
Babies and young children have sensitive skin that burns easily, so use a sunscreen
Certain people have a risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. They need to take supplements to prevent rickets/osteomalacia.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women
Pregnant women should take vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of their children developing rickets
Vitamin drops can be used in babies and younger children
Prevention of Stroke
Stroke can be prevented by adopting various lifestyle modifications detailed below.Healthy DietPoor diet is a major factor for a stroke. Some diet tips to be followed include:
Eat a low-fat and high-fibre diet
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Limit the amount of salt
Avoid fatty food which increase cholesterol levelsRegular Exercise
Healthy diet along with regular exercise lowers your cholesterol levels and helps you maintain a healthy body weight.
Regular exercise also helps to avoid developing high blood pressure.
Start exercising and gradual increase the duration to about thirty minutes a day. Exercises could be walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling.
Avoid SmokingSmoking narrows the arteries and makes you more prone to blood clots which can lead to stroke.
Stop smoking to reduce the risk of stroke by up to 50%.Avoid AlcoholExcessive alcohol consumption increases your chances of developing high blood pressure and other heart problems. Heavy drinkers are 3 times more likely to develop a stroke.
Prickly Heat Rashes
Prickly heat rashes develop when a person sweats excessively, mainly in hot and humid weather. Prickly heat rashes are small, red, raised spots that cause a tingling sensation. The rashes may itch and swell and are usually observed on the back, abdomen, neck, chest, groin or armpits.
The following factors increase the risk of developing prickly heat rashes:
Excessive perspiration in a hot and humid weather
Being confined to a bed for a long time due to illness
Wearing too much clothing during winter
Sitting too close to a heater or fire
ObesityTips to Avoid Rashes:Avoid going outdoors in an excessively hot and humid weather
Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
Wear loose cotton clothing
Take cool baths and showers
Use cold compresses on your skin, but limit the usage to not more than 20 minutes
Try using calamine lotion to soothe the skin
Avoid using oil-based lotions and creams
Use air-conditioning, if possible
Consult your doctor if the rashes do not go away within few days or if an infection develops at the affected area.
Questions and Answers of Malaria
Question 1: Who is at risk for malaria?
Answer 1: Anyone can contract malaria. People who live in countries where malaria is common are more prone to get the disease.
Question 2: How long is the incubation period?
Answer 2: Incubation period is the time between the mosquito bite and the first appearance of signs and symptoms of malaria. The symptoms generally start about 9-14 days after the bite by an infected mosquito.
Question 3: How is malaria transmitted?
Answer 3: Transmission can occur through the bite of a specific type of infected mosquito known as Anopheles or through blood transfusion. A pregnant woman with malaria can transmit the disease to her child before or during birth.
Question 4: Can a person transmit malaria to others even after complete recovery?
Answer 4: Yes, some people can transmit malaria even after the symptoms have completely subsided. People can have malaria infection without having the symptoms. These people can infect others.
Question 5: How do I know if I have malaria?
Answer 5: People with malaria usually have fever, sweating, chills, headache, malaise, nausea and vomiting. A blood test can help detect if you have malaria. Consult your doctor if you suspect the infection.
Question 6: Can infants and children be given antimalarial drugs?
Answer 6: Yes, but only certain antimalarial drugs are suitable for children. The dosage in children is different from that in adults. There are drugs available for prevention of malaria.
Questions and Answers on Haemophilia
Question 1: How does a person get haemophilia?
Answer 1: Haemophilia is not a disease that can be spread or be transmitted to others. It is a genetic disorder, where the hemophilia gene is passed down from a parent to a child.
Question 2: Can haemophilia be cured?
Answer 2: There is no cure for haemophilia. If a person has haemophilia due to the deficiency of factor VIII or IX in blood, it usually lasts lifelong.
Question 3: What are the signs of haemophilia?
Answer 3: The signs of haemophilia include large bruises, bleeding into muscles and joints, spontaneous bleeding, bleeding for a long time after getting cut and serious internal bleeding.
Question 4: Is it true that haemophilia affects only males?
Answer 4: Usually boys inherit haemophilia from their mother, who is the carrier of the gene for the same, but girls can also be symptomatic carriers (may have mild bleeding).
Question 5: Do people with haemophilia bleed longer?
Answer 5: Yes, wounds bleed for a long time. In a haemophilia patient, the clotting protein may be missing or not functioning properly, which results in bleeding for a longer time.
Question 6: Will children with haemophilia ultimately get joint pain?
Answer 6: There are safe and readily available artificial clotting factors that can be given to people with haemophilia. It will help prevent long-term joint injury and crippling arthritic changes in these people.
Questions and Answers on Hypothermia
Question 1: What is hypothermia?
Answer 1: Hypothermia is a serious, potentially fatal condition that occurs when the body temperature drops below 95°F.
Question 2: When does hypothermia occur?
Answer 2: It commonly occurs outdoors in sub-zero temperatures. It can also occur indoors when it is not sufficiently warm.
Question 3: What are the symptoms of hypothermia?
Answer 3: Symptoms of hypothermia are confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion, sluggishness, slurred speech, fumbling hands and inability to think clearly.
Question 4: Who are at risk?
Answer 4: Elderly people, infants, children and people with heart disease, respiratory ailments, circulatory problems, depression, diabetes or mental illness are at an increased risk for hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to low temperatures may increase the risk of hypothermia.
Question 5: How can hypothermia be prevented?
Answer 5: Hypothermia can be prevented by avoiding alcohol consumption, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Question 6: How is hypothermia managed?
Answer 6: Call the emergency medical help. Wrap the person with blankets and use a cap or towel to cover his or her head until help arrives. Keep the person still and quiet with his or her feet slightly elevated. If the person is alert, give him or her small amounts of warm liquids or food.
Reasons for and Management of Vomiting Bile
Bile is a digestive juice secreted by your liver and you may vomit it out along with your stomach contents. A greenish-yellow vomit indicates presence of bile in your vomit. Bile reflux occurs when excess bile is present in the stomach and moves upwards toward the food pipe.Reasons for Throwing up Bile:Intestinal blockage
Excessive alcohol consumption
Viral infections such as gastroenteritis, causing excessive vomiting
Food allergies which trigger the immune system, leading to vomiting
Vomiting on an empty stomach will always lead to bile in the vomitManagement:
Stay away from alcohol if you have low tolerance to it
Consume plenty of fluids including cold fruit juices
Stay away from foods you may be allergic to
Get adequate sleep
Try having smaller meals
Try herbs like ginger and cinnamon for relief
Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, carbonated drinks, citrus foods, etc.
Avoid fatty foods
Sit upright after meals
Reduce Children’s Discomfort During Tests and Procedures
Children may need to undergo a medical examination or procedures such as blood tests, stiches, injections or x-rays during any illness. Following are a few tips on how to help your child feel less scared and stressed.
Procedures to make children comfortable include:
Relaxation and breathing
Medicines that help reduce pain
Explain the procedure to your child and mention why he or she has to undergo the procedure. It may help your child feel reassured.Distraction ideas for infants younger than 6 monthsRocking and stroking the face
Rattles and other baby toys
SingingDistraction ideas for toddlers 6 months to 2 years of ageBlowing bubbles
Toys and books that make sounds when pressed
Singing the child’s favourite song
Reading a book aloud to your childDistraction ideas for children older than 2 yearsCounting games
Reading a book
Playing their favourite DVDs or video games
Ask your child if he or she wants to know what is happening or he or she prefers to focus on other activities.
Stay with your child during the procedure
Maintain contact with your child by holding hands or cuddling him or her
A ringworm infection occurs due to a fungus, and not a worm, causing the skin to appear scaly, with red circular rashes. It can affect any part of your body, especially the beard, scalp, feet and groin. It is a contagious condition that can spread by direct contact with infected people, clothing and furniture.SymptomsItchy, red, raised scaly patches that may ooze out pus
The patches may have sharp-defined edges
The patches may be a darker red on the outside than the inside
If the hair is affected, bald patches may be observed
Discoloured, thick and brittle nails if the infection occurs in the nailsPreventionDry yourself completely after showers and maintain hygiene
Avoid sharing clothes, towels and sports equipment
Wear footwear in public bathing areas and locker rooms
Take a shower after playing sportsManagementKeep your skin clean and dry
Wear loose and irritation-free clothing
Wash clothing and sheets of infected persons everyday
Apply antifungal powders and lotions after consulting your doctor
You may require medication from your doctor if the infection keeps coming back or if it becomes severe
Signs to Watch Out for Mouth Cancer
Mouth cancer is the development of cancer on the lips, tongue, gums, inside the cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth.
Make an appointment with your doctor if the following signs and symptoms occur, persist or bother you:
A mouth ulcer or mouth sore that does not heal
Thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
A discomfort or long-lasting pain in the mouth
Formation of white or red patches in your mouth
Discomfort while chewing or swallowing
A burning sensation or a feeling of food being stuck in your throat
Speech abnormality, wherein your voice may sound different or you may have trouble pronouncing certain words
Unexplained weight loss
Unusual bleeding and numbness in your mouth
Loose teeth and ill-fitting dentures
Persistent pain in the tongue or a sore throat
Worsening bad breath
Pain and difficulty in moving your jaw
Formation of a lump in your neck, mouth or throat
Spinal injury is the injury to the spinal cord which contains the nerves that carry messages between your brain and body. The cord passes from the brain along the neck and back. The spinal cord injury can also occur due to the damage to nerves at the end of the spinal canal. It is a serious condition which can cause the loss of movement (paralysis).CausesA spinal injury may be caused by
Bullet or stab wound
Severe injury to the face, neck, head and chest
Fall from a considerable height
Extreme twisting of the middle of the bodySymptomsNumbness or tingling that radiates down the upper or lower limb
Paralysis of arms or legs
Loss of bladder or bowel control
Stiff neck, headache or neck painRisk factorsMales are more commonly affected than females
Spinal cord injury can occur between the ages of 16 and 30 years due to motor vehicle crashes and in those above 65 years of age due to falls
Engaging in risky behavior such as diving into very shallow water or playing sports without wearing the proper safety gear.
Having a bone or joint disorderPrevention
Following the tips below reduces your risk of a spinal injury.
Wear seat belts while driving
Injuries that may occur while playing sports or performing exercises are known as sports injuries. They may occur due to accidents or result from poor training practices. Not warming up or stretching adequately before playing or exercising can also lead to injuries.
The most common sports injuries are: Sprains and strains,Knee injuries,Swollen muscles,Bone fractures or dislocations,Tendon injuries
and Shin injuries.
Swimmer’s ear is a painful ear infection (especially affecting children and teenagers) that occurs if the skin of the ear canal breaks. This allows bacteria or fungi to attack the ear and cause an infection. Children are affected as they spend a lot of time in water, often swimming. You do not have to swim to get the infection; it can occur during a shower or bath too. s
Tips on Blood Testing
Blood samples are required for many diagnostic tests. Many people are anxious about having their blood withdrawn. Here are some useful tips that may help an individual to make his/her blood test procedure more comfortable and less stressful.
Some Useful Tips
Don’t hold your breath while your blood is drawn. Breathe at a normal rate to prevent you from feeling faint.
Make sure you are well hydrated before you have your blood drawn as this may help to find a vein easily from where the blood can be withdrawn. Limit your intake of caffeine as it may increase the amount of urine you produce.
Be Honest. Tell your doctor or physician if you have fainted in the past when your blood was withdrawn. Position yourself comfortably in a low chair rather than on top of a table to prevent any fall.
Don’t watch while your blood is drawn if the sight of blood makes you queasy. Instead, watch television or read a magazine to distract yourself.
Do not move while someone is withdrawing your blood as moving or wiggling can increase the number of attempts required.
TIPS TO BEAT WINTER TIREDNESS
Winter tiredness happens when you find it difficult to get out of bed on winter mornings, leading to fatigue. During winter, your sleep and waking cycles get disrupted. Since there is less sunlight, your body produces more melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Below are some tips that could help you ease fatigue during winters.
Try to bring more sunlight into your home and open the curtains as soon as you wake up every morning. Stay outdoors as much as possible.
If you are unable to get enough sunlight, include sources of vitamin D in your diet such as fish, eggs, meat, breakfast cereals, soya products, etc.
Make sure that you get quality sleep every night. Maintain your sleeping pattern.
Exercise regularly for about 150 minutes every week. Late afternoon exercising could improve your sleep and reduce early evening fatigue.
Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to keep stress away.
Eat right by consuming a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, dairy products and soups. Avoid sugary foods.
Eat at regular intervals and have a wholesome breakfast every morning.
Tips to Keep Your Joints Healthy
If you are suffering from arthritis, you could use some of the below tips to prevent injury to your joints and keep your joints healthy. Taking care of your joints can keep you active and help you perform your day-to-day tasks with minimal difficulties.
Perform your recommended exercises regularly for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. If you are prone to injuries, consult your doctor about exercise programs and make the most of it
Consult your doctor if you are in pain and are unable to do things you want to
Apply ice packs to the affected areas to ease pain and swelling. Consult your doctor regarding braces and custom-made shoes which can absorb shock while walking
To minimise the risk of injury to your joints, make changes to your home, like installing handles in your bathroom and removing furniture that blocks your way
Lose weight if you are obese
Visit your doctor regularly and keep a record of any pain, changes in your diet and activities performed to identify a pattern that can help you live with arthritis in a better way
Tips to Overcome Bad Breath
Bad breath or halitosis is generally a result of build-up of germs and bacteria in the mouth.
Below are some tips to manage bad breath:
Maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly
Scrape your tongue using your toothbrush or a tongue scraper
Stop smoking as smoking damages gums and stains the teeth
Rinse your mouth after every meal. You could also use mouthwashes after consulting your dentist
Avoid chewing sugary candies, chew on sugarless gum instead. Chewing gum removes food debris and dead cells from the mouth and increases saliva production
Consume plenty of water to avoid dryness of the mouth. Avoid sugary drinks
Avoid drinking too much coffee
Limit consumption of alcohol
Consume a well-balanced diet and eat regularly. Snack on carrots and apples
Avoid onion, garlic and spicy foods
Consume foods that are rich in vitamins
Chew on spices like cloves, fennel and anise
If you use dentures, clean them regularly
Visit your dentist if bad breath continues despite following the above tips
Treating Fever During Pregnancy
A low-grade fever, early in pregnancy may not be a problem. However, a high-grade fever (greater than 101°F or 38°C) can be a serious problem as it could be harmful for the baby’s development, particularly in the first trimester. Infection may be a common cause of high-grade fever in pregnancy.
On the contrary, a fever in the later stages of pregnancy, after the baby has almost developed, may not pose much of a risk unless the cause of fever is due to intrauterine infection.
Irrespective of your pregnancy stage, consult and report to your doctor if you are suffering from fever along with upper respiratory symptoms, body ache, flu-like symptoms or rashes and joint pain. TreatmentIf you are suffering from fever:
Drink plenty of water
Paracetamol is advisable for a short period only if prescribed by your doctor
Do not take analgesics like ibuprofen, particularly during the third trimester
Report to your doctor if you are not sure of the reason for fever: A urine or blood test may be suggested by your doctor to check the cause of infection and fever
Do not delay if your ‘bag of water’ is broken
Use of Inhalers in Patients With Asthma
An asthma inhaler transports medication directly to the site of inflammation instead of passing through the bloodstream first. An inhaler can be either used as a control-type device to help prevent symptoms of asthma from occurring or as a rescue-type device to relieve symptoms on occurring.
Controller inhalers are used every day to prevent acute attacks of wheezing or asthma, whereas rescue inhalers help in fast relief of an acute attack.
Use your controller inhaler even if you do not have any breathing difficulty or if the symptoms are improving.
You could use rescue inhalers to quickly reverse breathing difficulties when you come in contact with triggers such as dust, insects, mould, pollens, pet dander, stress, exercise (even a mild exercise can be a trigger) and cigarette smoke.
Use rescue inhalers when you have sudden asthma symptoms, or unexpected asthma triggers.
You could use rescue inhalers 15 to 20 minutes before starting physical activity and during an asthma attack while exercising.
Avoid weather conditions which may trigger asthma attacksSide Effects From Inhalers:Soreness at the back of the throat after using steroid inhalers
Thrush or infection in the mouth
Hoarseness of voice
Long-term use of steroid inhalers may cause osteoporosis
A minor risk in children using inhaled steroid is that it may enter the body and delay growth in children
Fainting or syncope is a brief loss of consciousness due to reduced blood flow to the brain. This episode usually lasts for a few seconds to a couple of minutes and most often, the person feels completely normal again quickly.