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WHAT IS GASTRIC CANCER?

This is a type of cancer that is becoming very common and affects a lot of people. The causes are many. It’s when the healthy cells of the stomach start changing and then grow out of control that you get affected by gastric cancer. It progresses slowly and gets worse over time. It can start in any part of the stomach and then spreads to other areas of the stomach and the body. This cancer can spread to organs like the liver, lungs and even the bones.

There are various types of gastric cancer and some are given below.

ADENO CARCINOMA

This is the most widespread type of gastric cancer and 95% of the cases are affected by this type of carcinoma. The tissue that line the stomach are affected, actually the cells that make mucus and other fluids are the ones that develop the cancer.

OTHER TYPES

The less common gastric cancer is the one that develops in the digestive tract called the carcinoid tumours and gastric sarcoma or lymphomas. These cancers affect the part of immune system or the lymph nodes and thus develop further complications and infections which required immediate medical attention.

WHO CAN GET GASTRIC CANCER?

About 60% of people who get diagnosed with Gastric Cancer are over the age of 65 years. Among this risk age group men are more prone to get this cancer than women. It is also one of the most common type of cancer. In the past gastric cancer was a major one and caused many deaths. With the advent of the refrigerators people started using less of salted and smoked foods which were supposed to cause this cancer.

 

WHAT CAUSES GASTRIC CANCER?

There are may causes for getting affected with gastric cancer including those mentioned below.

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter Pylori is a kind of bacteria that is known to cause gastric cancer. This bacteria causes ulcers and inflammation in the stomach paving the way for development of cancer cells. There are various strains of these bacteria and they can be treated with antibiotics and that is why it is less common in the present times.

Medical History

There is more chance of contacting gastric cancer if someone in the family has already undergone a surgery for it. Certain medical conditions like serious anemia, stomach polyps and lack of a certain kind of digestive fluid in the stomach cause gastric cancer. You need to have a through medical examination in you suspect any of these conditions.

Certain Lifestyle

The food you take and certain daily habits makes you more prone to get gastric cancer. When you are in the habit of eating lot of smoked foods, salted fish and meat or pickles and picked vegetables you have the risk of developing this cancer. This is more so if you are not eating enough of fresh fruits and vegetables. You are also like to get this caner when you smoke or drink alcohol habitually and when your diet is uncontrolled and you are overweight.

 

What are the symptoms of Gastric Cancer?

The symptoms of gastric cancer or stomach cancer include:

  • Chronic tiredness
  • Feeling bloated even after eating little bit
  • Heartburns and indigestion
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Frequent stomach pain
  • Weight loss without reason
  • Blood in the stools
  • Vomiting
  • Black Stools
  • Ball rolling movements
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ARE YOU EAGER TO KNOW ABOUT CALCIUM?

How often have you heard mothers telling their kids to drink milk and get strong? You must have felt that they are kidding, but mothers are always right. Dairy is high in calcium but vegetables like cabbage, greens and broccoli are also good sources of calcium. Another food rich in calcium is fish like sardines and salmon. If you don’t get enough of calcium then there is a risk of osteoporosis, a disease that makes your bones weaker.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy the baby needs a lot of calcium to grow its bones and develop into a healthy baby. So it is really important to supply the baby enough calcium atleast during the important last 3 months of pregnancy. If you don’t take enough calcium yourself, then the baby will get its supply from your bones, making you weak. So, eat calcium rich food during pregnancy or ask your doctor for calcium supplements.

Kidney Stones & Calcium

It is well known that kidney stone are mostly made of a mineral called calcium oxalate. But it has never been established that cutting out calcium from your diet will prevent kidney stone formation. Actually taking too little nutrients and having too much of fluids can form kidney stones. It is always better to get enough of calcium and not too much or too little.

Calcium Foods

Yogurt wins over other dairy products like low-fat milk when it comes to amount of calcium in it. An 8 ounce cup of yogurt will give meet a third of your daily calcium need easily. Orange juice and milk made of almonds, rice and soy with nutrients added to them are excellent source of calcium. Always shake the container before pouring your drink, because calcium has a tendency to settle at the bottom of your glass or container.

Who need more calcium?

For that matter everyone needs a certain amount of calcium. We may think that babies and young children need more calcium but the truth is that children and teens in the age group of 9 – 18 years need most of the calcium. Preteens and teenagers have fast growth and so their bones also grow faster and hence they need at least 1300 milligrams a day. If they have 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of orange juice and 1 cup of yogurt then they will receive the required amount of calcium. Adults on the other hand need a little less at around 1000 milligrams per day.

Losing Calcium Everyday

Calcium is mostly concentrated in your bones and teeth. But daily there is a loss of calcium through our skin, sweat, hair and more. Since your body cannot make calcium on its own it is upto us to have a diet rich in calcium  or if you feel it is difficult to get the calcium you need through diet alone then you can always ask your doctor to prescribe some calcium supplements.

Calcium for our Body

Body requires certain minerals to keep it intact and calcium keeps the bones healthy. You need to move your muscles and help nerves carry messages between the brain and the body parts. Calcium also helps in moving blood through blood vessels to different parts of the body. Calcium also helps in releasing hormones as well as proteins in the body.

Calcium Absorption

You need to have enough of Vitamin D in your body to enable calcium absorption, since the two nutrients are partners. Your body cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D, which you can get from exposure to sunlight and from food supplements. Foods like fatty fish – tuna and salmon are good sources of vitamin D.

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A VISUAL GUIDE TO HEART FAILURE

There is a misconception that heart failure means like any other machinery a complete breakdown and stopping of your heart. Whereas heart failure means your heart is not working as well as it should. Heart failure occurs when the heart muscles get weaker and are unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to your body. The heart is so versatile that it will try to compensate for a while but finally shows signs of its failure and you’ll have to rush for medical assistance which may sometimes be too late.

CAUSES OF HEART FAILURE

The heart functions constantly day and night and throughout your life, naturally after many years of tireless work the heart tends to slow down as you age. But if the same slowing down occurs at a age when it is not supposed to happen then it is a cause for serious worry. The causes that can bring about this condition include blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, birth defect of heart, blood sugar or a disease that debilitates the blood-pumping muscle. Lung disease can also lead to heart failure along with obesity, diabetes and sleep apnea.

MAIN SYMPTOMS OF HEART FAILURE

SHORTNESS OF BREATH

Shortness of breath on doing some activity is the first sign of something wrong. It can also happen when you are at rest and this happens usually when heart failure has worsened. Shortness of breath occurs when we are lying down or sleeping, because the heart is not able to keep up the blood flow back towards it from the lungs. When this happens there is a possibility of fluids leaking into the lungs making it harder to breath.

CONSTANT FATIGUE

When the heart is not pumping at its best the brain takes the blood it needs from less important areas of the body like the muscles in the limbs. The same is done by other vital organs to keep them functioning. This makes the arms and legs to feel weak. You will have symptoms of tiredness and listlessness. Everyday things like climbing stairs or walking across a hallway will become tedious. You may also feel light-headed and sleepy.

TROUBLING COUGH & WHEEZ

Another sign of weak heart is the constant cough and wheezing problem you may experience. This is because of the blood returning to the heart from the lungs is backing up and fluids get into the lungs. At times the cough may bring out white or pinkish mucus. Consult your doctor immediately on observing such symptoms.

FEET SWELLING AND WEIGHT GAIN

Many times you must have observed feet swelling and feeling a bit overweight but this goes away. If you have persistent feet swelling and you measure and see that you have quickly gained weight then it needs further observation. The fluids can back up into body tissues due to a weak heart and cause this or the kidney with less of blood to work with may not be able to get rid of sodium causing more fluids to stay in the tissues. These are dangerous symptoms and you need medical help immediately.

FEELING NAUSEA

You may feel like throwing up or you just feel all filled up and have no appetite. This happens because the digestive system is not getting enough of blood and oxygen to function at its normal best.

RACING HEART

When the heart is not functioning properly the body has certain mechanism to correct this including  adding muscle to the heart, expanding the heart so that it can stretch and snap back or by making the heart beat faster.

To prevent heart failures the best way is to control the diet, lose weight and exercise properly. If you are in the habit of smoking then first thing is to quit smoking. On consul ting your doctor if required you may be given medicines to prevent further damage to your heart and ensure its proper functioning.

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WHAT IS THE ANATOMY OF A BRUISE?

There would be hardly anyone right from a small child to an aged person who has not got a bruise in their lifetime. We all get bruise from time to time. While walking you trip and fall, the door jams on your hand or you hit a hammer on your finger instead of the nail on the wall etc. Most of the time the bruise will cure by itself and you need not worry about anything, but if it does not go away then you need to give it some attention.

How does it happen?

The flat and purple coloured bruise happens when the blood leaks into the top layers of the skin. A ‘black eye’ is an example of this type of bruise. A hematoma happens when clotted blood forms lumps under the skin. When this happens the area gets swollen, raised and painful. A bruise on your head is an example of hematoma. Hematoma is different from haemorrhage that is heavy bleeding inside or outside the body.

Bruise Colours

When you get a bruise it may be black or dark red but as you heal the bruise changes colours. This is because an iron rich substance in the blood called haemoglobin breaks into other compounds. It is usually red right after injury and turns purplish or black and blue within a day or two. In another 5-10 days it may be green or yellow and by 10 to 14 days turn yellowish brown or light brown. The bruise should normally totally fade away in about 2 week’s time.

What to do on getting bruised?

On you getting bruised or someone getting a bruise immediately apply some ice pack or ice cubes to the area. The cold helps in controlling the swelling and help in shrinking the size of the black-and-blue mark. It slows the blood flow to the area, so less of it ends up leaking into the tissues. When you get a sudden bruise, take a bag of frozen veggies or fill a plastic bag with ice, wrap it in a towel and gently put it on the injured area. Leave the pack on for 15 to 20 minutes, then take it off for 30 minutes repeat the process, this will provide much relief from pain and help control the bruise.

Bruise on the limb

If you have banged your shin against some object and you are bruised then immediately keep your injured limp raised above your heart level if possible. This will keep the blood from pooling and help with the swelling by preventing it from getting larger. After a couple of days slowly use a heating pad or warm cloth to put some heat on it. Take an OTC painkiller

When to consult a doctor?

When after few hours you feel too much pain and moving your limb or arm can be difficult, while the bruise gets bigger and bigger then you need to meet a doctor. If the bruise is around the eyes and there is difficult in seeing or as days progress the swelling gets bigger. When you get a bump on your head or belly and the bruise is swelling you should consult a medical expert.

Bruise due to health issues

Sometimes bruise like marking appear on the skin due to various medical condition. These conditions can be bleeding disorders, liver disease and skin disorders.

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IMPORTANCE OF LIVER HEALTH AND HEPATITIS B

Many of us are not aware that liver is an organ that is responsible for the overall maintenance of the human body. The liver is an important organ that filters toxins out of the blood, stores energy for later use, helps with digestion, and makes substances that fight infections and control bleeding.

It is rather surprising that although the liver is such an important part of our daily health and well being, it is often overlooked when it comes to proper care and attention. There are so many ailments that can befall the liver. The main reason for damage of liver is attributed to alcoholism, but bad food habits, sedentary lifestyles and cholesterol accumulation in the liver is equally risky. Liver is also susceptible to infections like Hepatitis B virus infection.

Hepatitis B infection causes liver damage and is today one of the most challenging reasons for liver damage.


What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an infectious Hepatitis cause by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). All most all adults who get infected are affected for a short time and then get better. This is called the acute hepatitis B infection. Sometimes the virus causes a long-term infection and then it is called the chronic infection. Such infections can over sometime cause severe liver damage. It is seen that babies and young children are more prone to get chronic hepatitis B. Many a time the symptoms of hepatitis B infection are not easily detected and if you feel the symptoms then they are like a mild flu.

How is the virus transmitted?
Hepatitis B is a blood-borne virus and it is transmitted from one person to others mainly through blood or fluids contaminated with blood. Yet another important route of transmission is from the infected mother to a newborn child, occurring during or shortly after birth. Contact with blood between persons happen through the use of needles among drug abusers. The virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact with infected person. The transmission occurs when the body fluids come in contact with broken skin or mucous membrane in the mouth, genital organs or rectum of the infected person.


The symptoms of Hepatitis B

The symptoms of Hepatitis B are not always well manifested instead you’ll feel that you run a mild flu. Some other symptoms include feeling tired always, mild fever, and headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach ache, dark urine, tan colour stools, yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice) which usually appears after other symptoms have subsided. People with chronic Hepatitis may not show any symptoms at all.

Diagnosis and treatment

Usually a simple blood test for Hepatitis B is done to detect the infection. From the result of the blood test the doctor will be able to clearly tell whether you have the Hepatitis B virus or if you had it in the past. If the doctor suspects that there is some sort of liver damage that has happened then a liver biopsy is undertaken. From the blood test the doctor will also be able to tell you if you have had any vaccination to prevent the virus.
As far as treatment is concerned Hepatitis B virus infection usually goes away on its own. Most of the symptoms of Hepatitis B infection can be treated at home with plenty of rest, healthy foods, good hydration and an absolute no to alcohol and drugs. Chronic Hepatitis B infection can be treated with Antiviral if required. In patients with Hepatitis B related Cirrhosis Liver with decompensation may require Liver Transplantation.

Prevention is in your hands
Hepatitis B vaccine is the best option to prevent the infection. The vaccine is administered in a series of 3. Adults, children, babies and teenagers should all be vaccinated for Hepatitis B to prevent its onset and spread. Other steps involve not sharing common needles, using sterilized gloves to handle infected persons, not sharing razors or toothbrushes, avoid body tattooing if you feel the needles are not properly cleaned. Definitely use condoms during sexual contact and ensure your safety at all times.

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