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Chikungunya

Chikungunya

Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya

All You Need to Know About Chikungunya

We all remember the startling bout of chikungunya in India a few years back that led to a state of panic. Quite a few people at the time also believed that the disease involved chickens, due to the way the word is pronounced. With quite a few myths surrounding the disease, it has become difficult to differentiate the facts from the myths. In this article let’s explore what chikungunya is all about, its symptoms and precautions to prevent the disease. Coined from the Kimakonde language, ‘chikungunya’, meaning ‘becoming contorted’ aptly describing the symptom of stooping due to joint pain. Cases of chikungunya have been reported in India, Africa, and Asia, since its first outbreak in the 1952, in southern Tanzania.

Symptoms of Chikungunya

The most prominent symptom of chikungunya is fever. The symptoms of chikungunya fever differ from the normal fever as it is accompanied with acute joint pain. Apart from this, nausea, rash, headache, and fatigue are common symptoms as well. There are chances of chikungunya being misdiagnosed due to the similarities in symptoms with Zika and Dengue. Severe cases can result in neurological, retinal, and cardiological complications as well. This makes it difficult for older people affected by the illness to recover as against young people. There have been instances where people have lived with joint pain for years.

Chikungunya Diagnosis

To confirm diagnosis, a lab test is required. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test will confirm the infection with chikungunya virus and symptoms can be treated accordingly. If you present with any of the symptoms listed above, please seek medical attention immediately.

Chikungunya Care

There is no cure or specific treatment for chikungunya, neither is there a vaccine against the disease. One can only manage the symptoms. This makes it more important for people to take necessary precautions to prevent contracting the disease.

Precautions to control chikungunya

  • If weather permits use full-sleeved clothes and minimize the exposed skin.
  • The mosquitoes that spreads chikungunya, bite during the daytime, hence ensure that you use liquid vaporizer like Goodknight Activ+ even during the day time, you can even use Goodknight Fast Card when you require few hours of protection
  • Mosquitoes are a problem both indoors and outdoors so while you or your kids step out home ensure you are using personal repellents. The easiest thing to do is to apply 4 dots of Goodknight Fabric Roll-On every time you step out of home.
  • Cover all water-storage containers.
  • Use door and window screens to keep the mosquitoes outside your home.
Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy

overview

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet.

Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your legs and feet to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. Some people
have mild symptoms. But for others, diabetic neuropathy can be quite painful and disabling.

Diabetic neuropathy is a common and serious complication of diabetes. But you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle.

Symptoms

There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy.

(1)Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. It affects the feet and legs first, followed by the hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include:

  • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Sharp pains or cramps
  • Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bedsheet can be painful
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, and bone and joint pain

(2)Autonomic neuropathy

The autonomic nervous system controls your heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs and eyes. Diabetes can affect nerves in any of these areas, possibly causing:

    • A lack of awareness that blood sugar levels are low (hypoglycemia unawareness)
    • Bladder problems, including urinary tract infections or urinary retention or incontinence
    • Constipation, uncontrolled diarrhea or both
    • Slow stomach emptying (gastroparesis), causing nausea, vomiting, bloating and loss of appetite
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Increased or decreased sweating

(3)diabetic amyotrophy

Radiculoplexus neuropathy affects nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks or legs. It’s more common in people with type 2 diabetes and older adults. Other names for this type are diabetic amyotrophy, femoral neuropathy or proximal neuropathy.

Symptoms are usually on one side of the body, but sometimes may spread to the other side. You may have:

      • Severe pain in a hip and thigh or buttock that occurs in a day or more
      • Eventual weak and shrinking thigh muscles
      • Difficulty rising from a sitting position
      • Abdominal swelling, if the abdomen is affected
      • Weight loss

(4)Mononeuropathy

Mononeuropathy, or focal neuropathy, is damage to a specific nerve in the face, middle of the body (torso) or leg. It’s most common in older adults. Mononeuropathy often strikes suddenly and can cause severe pain. However, it usually doesn’t cause any long-term problems.

Symptoms usually go away without treatment over a few weeks or months. Your specific signs and symptoms depend on which nerve is involved. You may have pain in the:

      • Shin or foot.
      • Lower back or pelvis.
      • Front of thigh
      • Chest or abdomen

Causes

Damage to nerves and blood vessels

The exact cause likely differs for each type of neuropathy. Researchers think that over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, leading to diabetic neuropathy. High blood sugar also weakens the walls of the small blood vessels (capillaries) that supply the nerves with oxygen and nutrients.

However, a combination of factors may lead to nerve damage, including:


Inflammation in the nerves caused by an autoimmune response. The immune system mistakes nerves as foreign and attacks them.

Genetic factors unrelated to diabetes may make some people more likely to develop nerve damage.

Smoking and alcohol abuse damage both nerves and blood vessels and significantly increase the risk of infection

Risk factors

Anyone who has diabetes can develop neuropathy, but these risk factors make you more likely to get nerve damage:

Poor blood sugar control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts you at risk of every diabetes complication, including nerve damage.

Diabetes history. Your risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes, especially if your blood sugar isn’t well-controlled.

Diabetes can damage the kidneys. Kidney damage sends toxins into the blood, which can lead to nerve damage.

Being overweight. Having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 24 may increase your risk of diabetic neuropathy.

Smoking. Smoking narrows and hardens your arteries, reducing blood flow to your legs and feet. This makes it more difficult for wounds to heal and damages the peripheral nerves.

Complications

Diabetic neuropathy can cause a number of serious complications, including:

        • Loss of a toe, foot or leg. Nerve damage can make you lose feeling in your feet. Foot sores and cuts may silently become severely infected or turn into ulcers. Even minor foot sores that don’t heal can turn into ulcers. In severe cases, infection can spread to the bone, and ulcers can lead to tissue death (gangrene). Removal (amputation) of a toe, foot or even the lower leg may be necessary.
        • Joint damage. Nerve damage can cause a joint to deteriorate, causing a condition called Charcot joint. This usually occurs in the small joints in the feet. Symptoms include loss of sensation and joint swelling, instability and sometimes joint deformity. Prompt treatment can help you heal and prevent further joint damage.
        • Urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence. If the nerves that control your bladder are damaged, you may be unable to fully empty your bladder. Bacteria can build up in the bladder and kidneys, causing urinary tract infections. Nerve damage can also affect your ability to feel when you need to urinate or to control the muscles that release urine, leading to leakage (incontinence).
        • Hypoglycemia unawareness. Low blood sugar (below 70 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL) normally causes shakiness, sweating and a fast heartbeat. But if you have autonomic neuropathy, you may not notice these warning signs.

Prevention

You can prevent or delay diabetic neuropathy and its complications by keeping tight control of your blood sugar and taking good care of your feet.

Blood sugar control

Use an at-home blood sugar monitor to check your blood sugar and make sure it consistently stays within target range. It’s important to do this on schedule. Shifts in blood sugar levels can accelerate nerve damage.

Foot care

Follow your doctor’s recommendations for good foot care.

Foot problems, including sores that don’t heal, ulcers and even amputation, are a common complication of diabetic neuropathy. But you can prevent many of these problems by having a comprehensive foot exam at least once a year, having your doctor check your feet at each office visit and taking good care of your feet at home.

To protect the health of your feet:

      • Check your feet every day. Look for blisters, cuts, bruises, cracked and peeling skin, redness, and swelling. Use a mirror or ask a friend or family member to help examine parts of your feet that are hard to see.
      • Keep your feet clean and dry. Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and mild soap. Avoid soaking your feet. Dry your feet and between your toes carefully by blotting or patting with a soft towel.
        Moisturize your feet thoroughly to prevent cracking. Avoid getting lotion between your toes, however, as this can encourage fungal growth.
      • Trim your toenails carefully. Cut your toenails straight across, and file the edges carefully so there are no sharp edges.
      • Wear clean, dry socks. Look for socks made of cotton or moisture-wicking fibers that don’t have tight bands or thick seams.
Cancer

Cancer

1) What Do You Want to Know About Cancer?

Overview

Cancer is an umbrella term for a large group of diseases caused when abnormal cells divide rapidly, and spread to other tissue and organs. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

2) Cancer Growth and Metastasis

In a healthy body, the trillions of cells it’s made of grow and divide, as the body needs them to function daily. Healthy cells have a specific life cycle, reproducing and dying off in a way that is determined by the type of cell.

New cells take the place of old or damaged cells as they die. Cancer disrupts this process and leads to abnormal growth in cells. It’s caused by changes or mutations in DNA.

DNA exists in the individual genes of every cell. It has instructions that tell the cell what functions to perform and how to grow and divide. Mutations occur frequently in DNA, but usually cells correct these mistakes.
When a mistake is not corrected, a cell can become cancerous.

3) Types of Cancer

Cancers are named for the area in which they begin and the type of cell they are made of, even if they spread to other parts of the body. For example, a cancer that begins in the lungs and spreads to the liver is still
called lung cancer. There are also several clinical terms used for certain general types of cancer:

  • Carcinoma is a cancer that starts in the skin or the tissues that line other organs.
  • Sarcoma is a cancer of connective tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels.
  • Leukemia is a cancer of bone marrow, which creates blood cells.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma are cancers of the immune system.

4) Risk Factors and Treatment

The direct cause of cancer is changes (or mutations) to the DNA in your cells. Genetic mutations can be inherited. They can also occur after birth as a result of environmental forces. Some of these forces include:

  • exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, called carcinogens
  • exposure to radiation
  • unprotected exposure to the sun
  • certain viruses, such as human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • smoking
  • lifestyle choices, such as type of diet and level of physical activity

Cancer risk tends to increase with age. Some existing health conditions that cause inflammation may also increase your risk of cancer. An example is ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Knowing the factors that contribute to cancer can help you live a lifestyle that decreases your cancer risks. According to experts, these are the seven best ways to prevent cancer:

      1. Stop using tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke.
      1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.

    a.Limit your intake of processed meats.
    b.Consider adopting a “Mediterranean diet” that focuses mainly on plant-based foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
    c.Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men 65 years of age and younger.

      1. Keep a healthy weight and stay active by getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
      1. Stay protected from the sun.

    a.Cover up with clothing, sunglasses, and a hat, and apply sunscreen frequently.
    b.Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
    c.Stay in the shade as much as possible when you’re outside.
    d.Avoid tanning beds and sunlight, which can damage your skin just as much as the sun.

      1. Get vaccinated against viral infections that can lead to cancer, such as hepatitis B and HPV.
      1. Don’t engage in risky behaviors. Practice safe sex and don’t share needles when using drugs or prescription
        medications. Only get tattoos at licensed parlors.
    1. See your doctor regularly so they can screen you for various types of cancer. This increases your chances of catching any possible cancers as early as possible.

    5) treatment

    The most common types of treatment are:

      1. Surgery

    Surgically removes as much of the cancer as possible.

      1. Chemotherapy

    Uses medications that are toxic to cells to kill rapidly-dividing cancer cells.

      1. Radiation Therapy

    Uses powerful, focused beams of radiation inside (brachytherapy) or outside (external beam radiation) your body to kill cancer cells

      1. Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplant

    Repairs diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can have a variety of functions. These transplants allow doctors to use higher doses of chemotherapy to treat the cancer.

      1. Immunotherapy (Biological Therapy)

    Uses antibodies to help your body’s immune system recognize cancer so it can fight it off.
    Hormone Therapy
    Removes or blocks hormones that fuel certain cancers to stop cancer cells from growing.

      1. Targeted Drug Therapy

    Uses drugs to interfere with certain molecules that help cancer cells grow and survive.

      1. Clinical Trials

    Investigates new ways to treat cancer.

      1. Alternative Medicine

    Used to decrease symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea, fatigue, and pain. Alternative medicine includes:

      • acupuncture
      • hypnosis
      • massage
      • yoga
    IBS

    IBS

    1)What is IBS

    IBS is also known as spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis. It is a separate condition from inflammatory bowel disease and isn’t related to other bowel conditions. IBS is a group of intestina
    symptoms that typically occur together. The symptoms vary in severity and duration from person to person. However, they last at least three months for at least three days per month.

    2)IBS symptoms

    The symptoms of IBS typically include:

    • .cramping
    • abdominal pain
    • bloating and gas
    • constipation
    • diarrhea

    3)Symptoms of IBS in women

    Women may tend to have symptoms around the time of menstruation, or they may have more symptoms during this time. Menopausal women have fewer symptoms than women who are still menstruating.
    Some women have also reported that certain symptoms increase during pregnancy.

    4)Symptoms of IBS in men

    Symptoms of IBS in men are the same as the symptoms in women. However, a lot fewer men report their symptoms and seek treatment.

    5)IBS pain

    IBS pain may feel like cramping. With this cramping, you will also have at least two of the following experiences:

    • some relief of pain after a bowel movement
    • a change in how often you have a bowel movement
    • changes in the way your stools look

    6)IBS diagnosis

    Your doctor may be able to diagnose IBS based on your symptoms. They may also take one or more of the following steps to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms:

    • have you adopt a certain diet or cut out specific food groups for a period to rule out any food allergies
    • have a stool sample examined to rule out infection
    • have blood tests done to check for anemia and rule outceliac disease
    • perform a colonoscopy

    7)IBS diet

    For some people, dietary changes can go a long way in helping ease symptoms. Because the symptoms of IBS vary among people with the condition, approaches to dietary changes need to vary.8)Treating IBS

    There is no cure for IBS. Treatment is aimed at symptom relief. Initially, your doctor may have you make certain lifestyle changes. These “home remedies” are typically suggested before the use of medication

    9)Home remedies for IBS

    Certain home remedies or lifestyle changes may help to relieve your IBS symptoms without the use of medication. Examples of these lifestyle changes include:

    • participating in regular physical exercise
    • cutting back on caffeinated beverages that stimulate the intestines
    • eating smaller meals
    • minimizing stress (talk therapy may help)
    • taking probiotics (“good” bacteria normally found in the intestines) to help relieve gas and bloating
    • avoiding deep-fried or spicy foods

    10)Foods to avoid with IBS

    Managing your diet when you have IBS may take a little extra time but is often worth the effort. Modifying amounts or eliminating certain foods such as dairy, fried foods, indigestible sugars, and beans may help to reduce
    different symptoms. For some people, adding spices and herbs such as ginger, peppermint, and chamomile has helped to reduce some IBS symptoms.

    11)What causes IBS.

    Although there are many ways to treat IBS, the exact cause of IBS is unknown. Possible causes include an overly sensitive colon or immune system. Postinfectious IBS is caused by a previous bacterial infection in the
    gastrointestinal tract. The varied possible causes make IBS difficult to prevent.
    The physical processes involved in IBS can also vary, but may consist of:

    • slowed or spastic movements of the colon, causing painful cramping
    • abnormal serotonin levels in the colon, affecting motility and bowel movements
    • mild celiac disease that damages the intestines, causing IBS symptoms
    Crohn’s disease

    Crohn’s disease

    1)What is Crohn’s disease

    Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. As many as 780,000 Americans have the condition, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCF).

    More research about Crohn’s disease is necessary. Researchers aren’t sure how it begins, who is most likely to develop it, or how to best manage it. Despite major treatment advances in the last three decades, no cure is
    available yet.

    Crohn’s disease most commonly occurs in the small intestine and the colon. It can affect any part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from your mouth to your anus. It can involve some parts of the GI tract and skip other parts.

    The range of severity for Crohn’s is mild to debilitating. Symptoms vary and can change over time. In severe cases, the disease can lead to life-threatening flares and complications.

    2)What causes Crohn’s disease

    It isn’t clear what causes Crohn’s disease. However, the following factors may influence whether you get it:

    • your immune system
    • your genes
    • your environment

    3)Crohn’s symptoms

    The symptoms of Crohn’s disease often develop gradually. Certain symptoms may also become worse over time. Although it’s possible, it’s rare for symptoms to develop suddenly and dramatically. The earliest symptoms
    of Crohn’s disease can include:

    • diarrhea
    • abdominal cramps
    • blood in your stool
    • a fever
    • fatigue
    • loss of appetite
    • weight loss
    • feeling as if your bowels aren’t empty after a bowel movement
    • feeling a frequent need for bowel movements

    4)Crohn’s diagnosis

    No single test result is enough for your doctor to diagnose Crohn’s disease. They will begin by eliminating any other possible causes of your symptoms. Making a Crohn’s disease diagnosis is a process of elimination.

    Your doctor may use several types of tests to make a diagnosis:

      1. Blood tests can help your doctor look for certain indicators of potential problems, such as anemia and
        inflammation.
      2. A stool test can help your doctor detect blood in your GI tract.
      3. Your doctor may request an endoscopy to get a better image of the inside of your upper gastrointestinal
        tract.
      4. Your doctor may request a colonoscopy to examine the large bowel.
      5. Imaging tests like CT scans and MRI scans give your doctor more detail than an average X-ray. Both tests
        allow your doctor to see specific areas of your tissues and organs.
      6. Your doctor will likely have a tissue sample, or biopsy, taken during an endoscopy or colonoscopy for a
        closer look at your intestinal tract tissue.

    5)Treatment for Crohn’s disease

    A cure for Crohn’s disease isn’t currently available, but the disease can be well-managed. A variety of
    treatment options exist that can lessen the severity and frequency of your symptoms.

        • Medications

    Several types of medications are available to treat Crohn’s. Anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory drugs are
    commonly used. More advanced options include biologics, which use the body’s immune system to treat the disease.

        • Anti-inflammatory drugs

    The two main types of anti-inflammatory drugs doctors use to treat Crohn’s are oral 5-aminosalicylates and
    corticosteroids. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often the first drugs you take for Crohn’s disease treatment.

        • Immunomodulators

    An overactive immune system causes the inflammation that leads to the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Drugs that
    affect the immune system, called immunomodulators, may reduce the inflammatory response and limit your
    immune system’s reaction.

        • Antibiotics

    Some doctors believe antibiotics may help reduce some of the symptoms of Crohn’s and some of the possible
    triggers for it.

    6)Crohn’s disease diet

    A diet plan that works for one person with Crohn’s disease may not work for another. This is because the disease can involve different areas of the GI tract in different people.

    It’s important to find out what works best for you. This can be done by keeping track of your symptoms as you add or remove certain foods from your diet.

    7)Natural treatments for Crohn’s

    Many people use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for various conditions and diseases, including Crohn’s disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved these medicines for treatment,
    but many people use them in addition to mainstream medications.

    Popular alternative treatments for Crohn’s disease include the following:

        • Probiotics. These are live bacteria that can help you replace and rebuild the good bacteria in your intestinal
          tract. Probiotics may also help prevent microorganisms from upsetting your gut’s natural balance and causing a
          Crohn’s flare.
        • Prebiotics. These are potentially beneficial materials found in plants, such as asparagus, bananas,
          artichokes, and leeks, that help feed the good bacteria in your gut and increase their numbers. Prebiotics are
          also available
          to buy in supplement form.
        • Fish oil. Fish oil is rich in omega-3s. According to a 2017 study, research is ongoing regarding its possible
          treatment of Crohn’s disease. Oily fish like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3s. You can also try fish oil
          supplements, which you can shop for online.
        • Supplements. Many people believe certain herbs, vitamins, and minerals ease the symptoms of a variety of
          diseases, including the inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease. Research is ongoing as to which
          supplements may be beneficial.

    8)Crohn’s surgery

    Surgery for Crohn’s disease is considered a last-resort treatment, but three-quarters of people with this Crohn’s will ultimately need some type of surgery to relieve symptoms or complications.

        • Strictureplastywidens and shortens the intestines in an attempt to reduce the effects of scarring or damage
          to the tissue.
        • During a bowel resection, portions of damaged intestine are removed. Healthy intestine is stitched together
          to reform the intestines.

    9)What are the variations of Crohn’s disease

      • Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease mainly affects your stomach and the duodenum, which is the first part of your
        small intestine. About 5 percent of people with Crohn’s disease have this type.
      • Jejunoileitis occurs in the second portion of your intestine, called the jejunum. Like gastroduodenal
        Crohn’s, this variation is less common.
      • Ileitis is inflammation in the last part of the small intestine, or ileum. About 30 percent of people with
        Crohn’s disease are affected at this location.
      • Ileocolitis affects the ileum and the colon and is the most common variation of Crohn’s. Approximately 50
        percent of people with Crohn’s disease have this variation.