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All Posts in Category: Blog

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

Everybody knows that high blood pressure causes severe health problems form damage to arteries to strokes and chronic heart problems.

Artery Damage

All arteries should be strong, springy and elastic to move blood easily from lungs and heart to various organs and tissues. High blood pressure pushes hard on the artery walls and damages it. This forms plaque on the walls of arteries and they turn narrow.

Aneurysm

When high blood pressure pushes against the artery wall it weakens. It can break and bleed into the body which is a very serious condition. It can occur anywhere in an artery but most commonly seen in the aorta. A damaged artery can cause aneurysm even it if your BP is under control.

What’s CAD?

CAD can happen when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply to the heart. The blood flow then gets slower, giving rise to chest pain and strange heart rhythm. A total block can lead to a heart attack.

Heart Attack

As the plaque in the artery builds up or when clumps of it come loose, they completely block the artery to the heart and leads to acute heart attack. The blockage starves the heart of oxygen and nutrients. This can cause severe damage to the heart.

Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD unlike CAD, affects the blood vessels that are further away from the heart like those in the arms, legs, head and the stomach. A person may get pain or cramps in the legs, often when they walk or climb stairs. The person may feel chronic tiredness.

The pain will go away when you rest and reappear once you move, if left untreated it can cause serious problems like stroke, ulcers and loss of circulation in the legs. Finally it can even lead to amputation of a limb.

PAD can also cause heart failure, enlargement of heart, stroke, dementia, kidney damage, eye problems, sexual problems and sleep apnea.

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KNOW THE NATURAL WAYS TO DEFEAT ALLERGIES

Allergies exist in many different forms. Allergy symptoms occur when your immune system overreacts to an allergen—something that usually is harmless, such as plant pollen, dust mites, molds, insect stings or food. The allergic reaction to these could be runny nose, wheezing, rashes, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting or fever.

Effective treatment of allergic asthma includes identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms.

Shut Out Breezes

For your eyes it may look like a wonderful day, with streaming sunlight and caressing breeze. But if the pollen in those breezes is high, then it’s better to keep the windows and doors closed to protect the indoor air and prevent any onset of allergic reaction. A HEPA filter air-conditioning system would help to filter air that is circulated inside your home.

Wash Up

Everytime you come back home, you bring small pieces of the outside in with you. Your clothes, hair and skin are covered with tiny particles from everywhere you’ve been. So, it’s better to shower and change your clothes, so that you wash away the allergens. Always remember to leave your shoes at the door.

Wear a Mask

Wearing a mask when stepping outside can keep allergens from getting into your airways. A respirator mask available at any medical store will block out 95% of small particles and keep you allergen free to a certain level.

Eat Healthy

Those who ate lots of fresh vegetables, fruits  including grapes, apples, oranges and nuts and tomatoes had fewer allergy symptoms. There is no doubt that a healthy diet is good for the whole body as it increases your immunity and protects you from allergies and infections.

Rinse Out

There is a process called nasal rinse. A nasal rinse cleans the mucus from your nose and can ease allergy symptoms there. It also washes away bacteria, thin mucus etc and cuts down on nasal drips.

Drink More

When you feel stuffy or have postnasal drip due to allergies, sip more water, juice or other non-alcoholic drinks. The extra liquid can thin the mucus in your nasal passage and give you some relief. Hot fluids like teas, broth or soup have added benefit of steam on your nasal passage.

Go Clean

The best way to avoid indoor allergens is to keep the home clean. Harsh cleaning chemicals can irritate the nasal passage and aggravate your symptoms, so make natural cleaners with everyday ingredients like vinegar or baking soda. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap allergens.

Get Steamy

Inhaling some steam is a simple trick to clear a stuffy nose and make breathing easy. Hold your head over a warm (not too hot) bowl of water and place a towel over your head to trap the steam; you can also sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running.

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YOUR GUIDE TO BREAST CANCER

The survival rates for breast cancer is many times more today than it was a few decades ago. Greater awareness, early detection, advances in treatment are some of the reasons for containing breast cancer. Today there are more reasons to be hopeful about recovery for patients with breast cancer. The number of patient diagnosed every year to have breast cancer in going up year after year. So, it becomes important that you identity the disease earlier. So that you can be complete recovery with the help of modern treatment.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

There may not be very apparent symptoms of breast cancer, but you may feel that there is something for the doctor to check-up. It could be any of the following.

A painless lump in the breast

Changes in breast size or shape

Swelling in the armpit

Nipple changes or discharge

Chronic breast pain can also be a symptom but it is not a common one.

HOW TO DETECT IT?

Like any other cancer, it helps to detect breast cancer in the early stages and treat it. Mammograms, an X-ray of the breast, can detect tumours before they get large enough to feel. Women with a average risk level ages 45-54 should get a yearly mammogram. Those beyond 55 years may get one done every two years.

ULTRASOUND & MRI

Ultrasound and MRI are also used to detect breast cancer, which gives a clearer understanding of the inside of the breast. A breast ultrasound can help detect cysts, which are fluid filled sacs that do not cause cancer. For those with higher risk of breast cancer an MRI with mammogram is ideal to detect it.

HOW TO DO A SELF EXAM?

Doctors usually suggest a self exam for women. But self exams play a very small role in detecting cancer as such. Today, it is more about knowing your own breasts and understanding any changes, rather than just checking them on a regular basis.  You can learn the self-exam technique from your doctor.

WHAT IS BREAST BIOPSY?

The sure way to know whether a breast lump is cancer is through biopsy. This means a sample of the lump is removed so it can be tested in the lab. This is done using a small needle, but sometimes surgery is performed to remove the entire lump before testing it. The test results will show whether it is cancer and the type of cancer.

STAGES OF BREAST CANCER

If breast cancer is diagnosed, the next step is to understand how big the tumour is and how much of the body it has affected. This process is called staging. The doctor uses a scale of 0-IV to describe the cancer stage. From this it is understood whether the cancer is localised in the breast or it has spread of other parts of the body including the lymph nodes and the lungs.

HOW IS IT TREATED?

Breast cancer surgery varies according to the stage and the area from where the lump is removed. It can be just taking out the area around the lump and called lumpectomy or breast conserving surgery. If it is required to remove the entire breast then it is called the mastectomy.

After surgery the doctor may suggest radiation therapy to contain the cancer or chemotherapy which is given during the IV stage to shrink the lump or after the surgery to prevent cancer cells from growing back.

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WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR FAINTING?

Fainting is not something that happens to you and you recover after that. There can be serious problems like fracture to bones in the body when you have a fall, drowning, accidents and many other things.

There are several reasons for fainting including dehydration, diabetes, low BP and medicines. Let us examine few of the reasons in detail.

Dehydration

When you don’t drink enough of water or when you lose too much of fluid your body gets dehydrated. The result is that the blood pressure drops, the nervous system can’t control anything and the result is that you faint.

Hence it is very important to drink plenty of water, especially when the temperature is high outside. One sign of dehydration is dark yellow  urine and you may drink more water to be on the safer side.

Irregular Rhythm

Arrhytmhmia means the heart has an irregular beat. When this happens the blood that flows to the brain sometimes slows and results in fainting. It is the first symptom of an irregular heartbeat. It can lead to serious heart problems later.

Breath Holding

Kids when they cry hard sometimes hold their breath and cut off oxygen, this triggers and automatic response which make them faint. They turn blue, pass out and then later seem groggy. But this is normal and nothing to worry about.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is hypoglycaemia; it can make a person dizzy, shaky, tired and confused. You can reverse the condition by taking a sip of juice or having a candy. If not then it can lead to fainting. A medicine called glucagon is carried by people who are hypoglycaemic and it releases more sugar into the blood.

Diabetes

High diabetes can damage the nerves that keep the blood pressure under control. This causes low blood pressure which causes dizziness and fainting.

Medicines

Some medicines used for high blood pressure, antidepressants and insulin used for diabetes can cause low blood pressure and this will give rise to fainting. Sometimes medicines and illness together can be too much for older people and they may pass out.

Seizures

People suffering from seizures can cause unconsciousness for minutes together and this be preceded by eyes rolling back and jerking movements of the whole body.

Emotional Shock

In some people the body reacts when it sees blood, sudden emotional scenes or due to fear or injury. What happens is the blood flow slows and blood starts accumulating in the legs and away from the brain. You may feel cold, pale and nauseated and then faint.

Other causes for fainting includes intense coughing, hyperventilation, too much alcohol drinking or even wearing clothes that choke you around the collar.

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FEW COMMON CHILDHOOD SKIN PROBLEMS

Are you wondering what is the rash, welt or bump on your child’s skin? It could be a skin problem for your child. Heat, cold, sickness and allergies can cause skin changes in children. Many of these are not serious and can be easily treated. By the look of it you can tell what kind of skin problem is troubling your child, but it is always better to consult your child’s doctor.

Ringworms

It is not worms that cause ringworm infection, and the skin need not be itchy. Ringworm is caused by a fungus that lives off dead skin, hair and nail tissues. It starts as a red, scaly patch or bump. Then there come an itchy red ring, the ring is usually raised, blistery or scaly. The infection is passed on from skin-to-skin contact. Kids get it by sharing things like towels and sports gear. It can be treated with antifungal creams.

Chickenpox

Once upon a time this was a common rash but today due to vaccination children are not greatly affected. It’s very contagious, spreads easily and leaves an itchy rash and red blisters all over the body. This happens through stages; first they blister, burst, dry and crust over. If left unattended they can become serious. Vaccination is the universal solution for children as well as young adults.

Impetigo

It is caused by bacteria and creates a red sore or blisters. The sore can break open, ooze and develop a yellow brown crust. It may be localized or seen all over the body, mostly around the mouth and nose. Impetigo spreads through sharing clothes, towels and toys. An antibiotic ointment is used along with oral antibiotics to control the infection.

Warts

Fungal infection causes the mostly harmless, painless skin growths called warts. It can spread easily from person to person. They also spread when you accidentally come in contact with an object used by an infected person. Warts develop mostly on the fingers and hands. Most warts go away on their own but some may be removal.

Heat Rash

Heat rash is mainly caused by blocked sweat ducts. They occur as small red or pink pimples. It is seen on the head, neck, shoulders and chest in kids. In babies these rashes happen when parents dress them in too warm clothing. But usually heat rash occurs in children during summer months.

Contact Dermatitis

Many kids have skin that reacts after coming in contact with certain foods, soaps, plants and other substances. The rash is usually seen after 48 hours only and in minor cases may appear as mild redness on the skin or small red bumps. In severe cases there may be swelling, redness and larger blisters. This rash usually disappears in a week or two and can be treated with anti-inflammatory cream.

Eczema

Children are prone to get eczema if they already have other allergies or asthma. The exact cause though is not clear. The only thing clear is that, such kids have sensitive immune system. The sign is a raised rash with dry skin and intense itching. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. As they grow older fewer and fewer children seem to get eczema.

Hives

Hives is an itchy and burning welt on the skin, which can be caused due to innumerable reasons. It can be due to medicines like aspirin or penicillin or foods like eggs, nuts, shellfish, and other food additives. Heat, cold and throat injection can also trigger hives. Welts show up anywhere on the body and last for few minutes or days. Medical help should be sought if the hives does not go away on its own or if the child is suffering from breathing troubles, swelling of face etc.

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