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HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT TRIGLYCERIDES?

Triglycerides are the fat content in your blood. The blood receives this fat from the food we eat. Oil, margarine, butter, ghee and most other fats in our food forms triglycerides. Blood absorbs them from the intestine after we eat and the food is processed in our stomach.

The body also turns extra calories from simple carbohydrates such as white bread, candy, sugar and alcohol into triglycerides and stores them in the fat cells of our body.

Triglycerides & Cholesterol

Triglycerides are not cholesterol as commonly mistaken. Both are known as lipids, but only triglycerides are fats. On the other hand cholesterol is just a waxy substance that is produced in the liver and intestine (though some of it comes from the food as well) that helps make cell membranes and hormones in the body. Cholesterol also helps in metabolism.

What are lipoproteins?

Triglycerides can’t move around in the blood on their own, so they attach to certain proteins called lipoproteins. This is how they are able to move around in the body until they get stored in the fat cells.

How to test triglyceride levels?

Your doctor will test triglycerides and cholesterol together by taking a sample of your blood. Prior to this you may be asked to avoid certain foods or drinks or stop eating for half a day to get an accurate result. The blood will then be tested in a lab.

What is lipid profile?

Lipid profile is a test that tells the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. The physician will use a formula to arrive at a single number that shows the total blood cholesterol levels. A high number shows that you are at higher risk of getting heart disease. Factors like age, smoking, alcohol, blood pressure and other things may affect the result too.

Is fasting required before the test?

Triglycerides levels shoot up after you have had food. That is why there is a probability that your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink at least 12 hours before the test. Your diet, drinking alcohol, menstrual periods (for women), time of the day and exercise preceding the test will influence the results considerably.

Norms to check your triglycerides

Check your triglycerides by using the following numbers for guidance. The results are after 12 hour of fasting.

  • Desirable: Less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
  • Borderline high: 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.7-2.2 mmol/L)
  • High: 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3-5.6 mmol/L)
  • Very high: 500 mg/dL or greater (5.6 mmol/L)

Do higher values cause symptoms?

Higher values usually do not cause any symptoms but it is always good to test your lipid levels, including triglycerides on a regular basis. High levels can be a sign of other conditions including heart disease. Higher values also may be due to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes and thyroid disease.

Triglycerides related to insulin resistance in body

Increases risk of pancreatitis also

LDL – Bad cholesterol,  increase heart risk

HDL – Good cholesterol, increased by exercise, balanced diet.

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HOW TO KNOW A MOLE TURNING INTO CANCER?

The experts today believe that we check our skin every month for signs of skin cancer and melanoma. This will make sure that we can detect a mole or freckle that is changing shape, colour and growing, we should then watch it carefully.

While a dermatologist is the only person who can distinguish between a normal mole and an abnormal one, there are certain things we need to do on our own to predetermine a trouble making blemish.

Melanoma is considered to affect white skinned people alone but this is not true it can affect anyone irrespective of skin colour. It is also not restricted to those who are exposed to the sun regularly. It is genetics and a family history that is of all importance to predetermine if a person will get cancer.

The ABCDE Rule of skin cancer and melanoma

The ABCDE Rule is a helpful tool that can make identification of abnormalities when examining moles, freckles and other blemishes on the body more easy. Each letter represents abnormal characteristics – asymmetry, border, colour, diameter and evolution.

Asymmetry: Normal moles and freckles will be completely symmetrical and if we were to draw a line through one, the two halves would be symmetrical. Rarely in some cases will the two halves not be the same looking.

Border: Observe if the border of your skin blemishes and if it has an irregular, jagged or blurry appearance. If so then it can be cancer.

Colour: Normal moles will be uniform in colour whereas cancerous growth may be indicated by lightening or darkening of tone. Moles are abnormal when they show more than one colour or different shades.

Diameter: If a mole grows to a size of a pencil eraser (about ¼ inch) it is considered to be a cancer growth.

Evolution: Any change in the symmetry, borders, colours or diameter of a mole already existing is called an evolution. Elevation happens when the mole grows and elevates showing variation in height.

Presently the doctors have started adding the letter ‘F’ to the above list. The ‘F’ stands for funny looking. A changing mole presents various shapes and called funny looking. If it is dry, itchy and irritating all the more care should be taken to identify and treat it.

 

If at all you come across a mole or freckle anywhere on the body, don’t panic but calmly examine it and if you feel apprehensive of it simply make an appointment with your doctor. Sometimes it may all be a false alarm and even then early detection is the way to prevent can overcome cancer.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HERNIA IN MEN?

Among men, the sort of person who is likely to get a hernia is not necessarily the one who lifts a lot of heavy weights. A hernia can occur just like that when you exercise, cough, strain on your toilet or even as a result of lively sex life.

It is to be noted that hernias occur due to muscle weakness, often near the abdomen area. Hernias occur due to weakness of the cavity wall. These points get weak when there is a natural gap due to a blood vessel passing by or when there is a digestive tube in that place, it can also be due to some sort of scar tissue.

Hernia is first felt when you get a feeling like something has just popped in your belly area or something gave way suddenly.

What are the types of hernia?

A hernia is usually named based on its location in the body.

Inguinal Hernia

These are the common type of hernias. The inguinal canal is where the testes descend before birth. This canal has the spermatic cord and blood vessels. When an inguinal hernia occurs, part of the intestine juts down the canal into the scrotum.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia is caused when the abdominal wall gets weakened in the umbilical cord area. This mostly occurs in children.

Femoral Hernia

The femoral hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the femoral canal and then juts into the top of the thigh.  The femoral canal is where the main blood vessel passes into the legs.

Epigastria Hernia

This type of hernia occurs when fat or sometimes intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall between the navel and the breastbone.

Ventral Hernia

This is a hernia that occurs in the abdominal wall which is weakened due to scar tissue and this could be due to a surgery or a trauma.

Obturator Hernia

This type of hernia occurs when a part of the stomach juts through the gap between the bones of the front pelvis.

Hiatus Hernia

When the upper part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm usually through the esophagus opening.

What causes hernia?

With the exception of a hernia caused by complications due to a surgery, in most hernia cases there is no apparent reason. But the risk of hernia does increase with age and occurs more in men than in women. Activities and medical problems that increase pressure on the abdominal wall usually leads to hernia.

The causes may include, straining on the toilet, persistent cough, cystic fibrosis, enlarged prostate, straining during urination, obesity, lifting heavy weights, abdominal fluid, peritoneal dialysis, poor nutrition, smoking, undue physical exertion and undescended testicles.

What are the treatments for hernia?

Open or laparoscopic surgery is the remedy and found to be greatly successful both in children and adults.

 

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WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT NAIL FUNGUS?

Nail fungus is a common occurrence and it has no restrictions of age or gender. It begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. The fungal infection then moves deeper and causes discolouration of the nail. It can spread and affect the neighbouring nails as well.

When nail fungus affects the areas between your toes and the skin of your feet, it is called as athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).

What are the symptoms?

Nail fungus is diagnosed if one or more of your nails are thickened, whitish to yellow brown discolouration, brittle, crumbly or ragged, shape  distorted, has slight foul smell and  dark colour is seen at the sides of the nails. Nail fungus usually affect the toe nails rather than the finger nails.

What causes nail fungus?

Nail fungus is mainly caused by  dermatophyte, yeast and molds.

Fungal nail infections are more common in adults rather than children. As nails age, nails become brittle, dry, then fungi enter the resulting cracks in the nails and cause the infection. Other factors like reduced blood supply to the feet and weakened immune system also are reasons for nail infection.

Toenail infection can spread from one nail to the other nail but it is non contagious.

What are the risk factors?

Reduced blood flow to the limbs, increases the risk. Walking barefoot in damp communal areas such as swimming pools and gyms, having a minor skin or nail injury and some lifestyle diseases like diabetes are all factors that increase the chance for nail infection.

How to prevent nail fungus?

Wash hands and feet regularly, wipe off the moisture in between fingers. Trim nails straight across, smooth the edges with a file. Wear sweat absorbing socks or change it at regular intervals. Choose shoes that are made out of materials that can breathe, discard old shoes or disinfect them with antifungal powders. Give up nail polish and artificial nails. When in a nail parlour insist on well sterilized manicure tools.

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CAN WE TREAT SINUS WITH SURGERY?

Sinusitis occurs due to a swelling in the sinuses that results in congestion, discomfort and sometimes severe pain in the nasal region. There are many causes for nasal passage to get blocked including infections by bacteria, fungi or viruses. Small growths called polyps line the sinuses and cause blockage. Some allergies and structural problem of the nasal passage can cause sinusitis.

Most of the infections clear up by itself or with antibiotic treatment. Use of saline sprays, nasal steroids and medicines often bring relief. But there are exceptions which when your pain and trouble becomes unbearable and a condition like this if prolonged can lead to surgery for cure.

When do you need surgery?

When the use of antibiotics, nasal rinses or other treatments fail, it is better to consult your doctor immediately.  A specialist will examine the nasal passage and look for structural problems including deviated septum, polyps or other problems. These structural problems can be corrected using surgery including removal of polyps which may be growing inside the nasal passage.

The main purpose of sinus surgery is to get relief from the symptoms and reduce chances of infection. Surgery will also help a patient breathe better through the nose.

Types of surgery

Mainly there are two types of surgery including endoscopy and balloon sinuplasty. Endoscopy is done by inserting thin and flexible instrument in to the nose and balloon sinuplasty is where the doctor inserts a thin tube with an attached balloon on one end, in to the nasal passage. The doctor guides the balloon to the area where there is a block and will inflate the balloon to remove the block, so that your sinus can drain better and it won’t get congested.

Risks of sinus surgery

The sinus surgery has relatively very less risks involved. The most common may be tissue injury and further infection and more serious ones may be injury to the eyes or rarely the brain. As with any surgery always get a second opinion if you still have concerns.

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