Morning after pill or emergency contraception pills are over the counter drugs available to prevent pregnancy within 72 hours of unprotected sex or intercourse. There are many popular brands available like i-pill and unwanted 72. They are very high dose of the hormone progestin/levonorgestrel which are known to prevent fertilization/conception by way of delaying to stopping ovulation.
Effectiveness of emergency contraception
If taken within 72 hours, emergency contraception pills are known to prevent pregnancy in 99% of the cases. The user need not to worry about pregnancy if she has consumed the medicine within the stipulated 72 hours.
Side effects of emergency contraception
As all the emergency contraceptive pills are very high dose of the hormones, they are known to cause certain side effects which are common to the early symptoms of pregnancy. This often leads the user confused and baffled that she might be pregnant. However, in most of the cases, it’s not the pregnancy, but the emergency contraception pill, which is producing the symptoms. The symptoms include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Breast tenderness
- Delay in menstruation
- Occasional bleeding or spotting
- Weight gain
These side effects may continue for a month or two. The menstrual cycle may remain disturbed for next few months. In long run, being an steroid, these medicines cause substantial weight gain in the users.
Emergency contraceptives and STDs
Emergency contraceptive pills do not provide any protection from sexually transmitted disease like HIV, gonorrhoea or syphlis. Additional safety measures like condoms should be preferred for protection from such sexually transmitted diseases which could prove life threatening in long run.
Emergency contraception pills are not for regular use. Such high dose of hormone, if taken regularly might cause very serious side effects. So, they should never be used as regular method of contraception and should be avoided as far as possible.
Erectile dysfunction(ED): Causes and Treatments
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as Impotence is the inability of to get or maintain erection during sexual intercourse in human beings. Erection of penis is a natural process during sexual arousal. It is controlled by brain under the influence of various sensory perceptions like touch, visual and smell. This is a hydraulic process commanded by the brain, in which the blood flow to the penis is increased, thus causing the erection. Proper erection ensures successful intercourse.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
Failure to get or maintain erection makes intercourse difficult. This problem might have psychological or physiological causes.
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
Psychological reasons of erectile dysfunction include mental stress, lack of adjustment among couples, job pressure, anxiety, lack of privacy, fear of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and performance anxiety. This can be easily treated by psychological counselling and placebo medicines.
Physiological causes of erectile dysfunction
Physiological or physical causes of erectile dysfunction are those morphological or chemical changes within the body which make proper erection difficult. The main physiological causes of erectile dysfunction are mentioned as under:
- Diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis
- Medicines like anti-depressant and diuretics
- Hormonal imbalances (Testosterone deficiency)
- Nerve disorders
- Prostate surgery
Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction
The cause of erectile dysfunction is diagnosed through the use of various techniques like Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), Corpus cavernosometry, Dynamic infusion cavernosometry (DICC), Penile biothesiometry, Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), Penile nerves function, Duplex ultrasound.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
Once, the reason behind the erectile dysfunction is identified, treatment procedure could be planned. This mainly includes the following
- Hormone replacement therapy (Testosterone injections)
- Medicines like sildenafil (Viagra)
- Use of penis pumps
- Alternative medicines like herbs and libido booster food/aphrodisiacs
- Prosthetic penile implants to maintain erection
- Psychological counselling
- Proper diet
- Regular exercise
Hormone Therapy To Treat Cancer
We all are creations of God. God has blessed each one of us with unique qualities & features. Out of all the creations of God, A hormone therapy is a more basic term which refers to the administration of estrogen alone or the combination of estrogen & progestin therapy. Women is considered to be the most beautiful creation for the very fact that only a women have the quality to give birth to another being. Blessed with such a unique quality, fortunate are those who have the ability to give birth naturally. The process of giving birth to an offspring is influenced by many factors such as the health of the women, hormones, etc. There comes a stage in every woman’s life after which she loses the ability to bear children.
After an average age of 45 to 50, a woman’s menstruation cycle stops and she also loses the ability to bear children. During the menopause period, the body produces less of female hormones such as estrogen & progesterone. This reduction in the hormone levels will gradually cause the menstrual cycle to stop thereby lowering the chances of getting pregnant.
The sudden hormonal changes can result in various other symptoms that affect the health of the individual. It might cause troublesome symptoms such as the sudden sensation of warmth which may be associated with flushing or abnormal sweating, mood swings, vaginal dryness and sleep disturbances.
After the first 5 years of menopause, one might encounter progressive bone loss due to decreased levels of estrogen & progesterone hormones. Bone loss is very common among men & women as they age. This could be balanced by intake of vitamin D supplements. But, the post-menopause period puts an extra strain on bones in addition to usual age-related bone problems.
What do you mean by estrogen & hormone therapy?
An estrogen therapy alone may cause uterine cancer therefore to eliminate the increased risk of cancer a progestin is administered along with estrogen. Thus, estrogen or progestin therapy also known as EPT is a combination of estrogen & progestin therapy which is given to a woman having a uterus. The method of prescribing these hormones is also called as combination hormone therapy.
A hormone therapy is a more basic term which refers to the administration of estrogen alone or the combination of estrogen & progestin therapy. The hormone therapy uses a number of hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause. Most of the times, estrogen or progestin are used. Very rarely, testosterone is also added to treat menopause-related symptoms.
The symptoms of menopause include:
- Mood swings
- Less interest in sex
- Sleep disturbances
- Dryness in the female genital areas
- Abnormal body sweats at night
- Anxiety & emotional imbalance
While hormone therapy is used to treat a number of menopause symptoms it also has some risks associated with it. Those include:
- Blood clots in the arteries
- Chances of breast cancer
- Risks of heart diseases &
The hormone therapy comes in different forms. One will have to try different forms to find out the one that suits the best for you! The various forms of hormone therapy are as follows:
The Estrogen comes in the following forms:
- ¨ Skin gel
- ¨ Vaginal rings
- ¨ Vaginal creams or tablets that help overcome dryness or pain during the intercourse
- ¨ Tablets or pills are taken by mouth
- ¨ Skin patches applied to belly & thighs
Those women who have a uterus will have to take progestin pills along with estrogen to lower the risk of endometrial cancer. Women who have had their uterus removed no longer had to worry about uterine cancer and for this reason, only estrogen hormones will do for them.
The various forms of progestin or progesterone are as follows:
- Vaginal creams or tablets
- Skin patches
- Vaginal suppositories &
The type of hormone therapy that doctor implements on you will depend on the kind of symptoms you are suffering from. For instance, skin patches or pills can treat abnormal sweating at nights, on the other hand, vaginal creams, rings or tablets will help overcome vaginal dryness.
How do you take these hormones?
Unlike other tablets, you can’t consume these hormone pills in a manner that you wish to. Your healthcare professional will guide you with this. While taking both estrogen & progestin you will have to follow one of the following schedules.
- Cyclic hormone therapy: this is recommended at the initial stages of menopause. One may use the estrogen in the form of pills or skin patches for about 25 days. The progestin pills could be added between 10 to 14 days. You use a combination of both estrogen & progestin for a span of 2 days and then for about 3 days, you should not take hormones at all. Those who undergo cyclic hormone therapy might encounter monthly bleeding.
- Combined hormone therapy: this kind is preferred when you are asked to consume both estrogen & progestin together every day. Those who undergo combined hormone therapy will also encounter unusual bleeding during the initial stages of menopause. Some may have unusual bleeding when they switch to hormone therapy. Adopting this method will enable them to stop bleeding within a year or so.
If you are at high risk of osteoporosis or if you have severe symptoms of menopause then the doctor might prescribe you other medicines too! For example, the doctor might prescribe you a male hormone, testosterone, to improve your sex drive.
Possible side effects or risk factors associated with hormone therapy:
Most women undergoing hormone therapy would experience side effects in a due course of time. The side effects may be minor or major side effects. Some of the common side effects include nausea, headaches, breast pain, irregular bleeding, & mood swings. It is difficult to differentiate which symptom is due to estrogen component & which is due to progestin.
Some of the more serious health concerns for women undergoing hormone therapy are discussed below:
- HT might increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (vein clots) & pulmonary embolus (blood clots in lungs). Healthy women need not worry about these conditions.
- Uterine cancer: women who have a uterus and use estrogen alone are at increased risk of uterine cancer. These days, doctors prefer a combination of estrogen & progestin to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.
- Breast cancer: Recent studies showed that hormone therapy could also increase the risk of breast cancer however, the risk is very small. The risk of breast cancer increases with the duration of use and causes more risk with 5 or more years of use.
- Heart diseases: Hormone therapy lowers the bad cholesterol & increases the good cholesterol in women. However, it increases the risk of heart diseases in women. Especially in women, who have previous heart diseases have more risk of heart attacks.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding: during the postmenopausal period, women might encounter abnormal vaginal bleeding. What is called as “abnormal” depends on the type of hormone therapy? With continuous therapy, the bleeding might last for 6 months to a year. If the bleeding lasts more than a year then it is called as abnormal bleeding.
- Hormone therapy also slightly increases the risk of stroke, according to a study.
Due to these risk factors such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, stroke & heart diseases most women who do not have major menopause symptoms would wish to avoid hormone therapy.
How is hormone therapy prescribed?
Doctors usually prescribe combinational hormone therapy. Long-term use of estrogen alone increases the risk of uterine cancer. The addition of progesterone counteracts the risk. Estrogen is available in the forms of pills, vaginal rings, vaginal tablets, or vaginal creams. Estrogen pills are also good for vaginal dryness which could be used along with tablets or creams.
Oral therapy: some women prefer to choose daily continuous therapy which involves small doses of estrogen & progestin together. They consume the small doses of hormones each day. For the first time users, it might cause unexpected or irregular bleeding.
Transdermal therapy (patches & spray mists): hormone therapy also uses skin patches for treatment. These patches need to be worn on daily basis and need to be changed once in 2 weeks. These patches are as effective as oral therapy for controlling hot flashes. Spray mists are available as transdermal sprays which can be used once in a day.
Who should & should not take hormone therapy?
- Women with high blood pressure and controlled by medication can undergo HT as it does not elevate blood pressure.
- Those who have a family history of breast cancer or uterine cancer will have a greater risk if not undergone HT.
- HT may be used in women with migraines or liver disease. But, certain types of HT cannot be used in women as it might aggravate these conditions.
- Women who have been already treated for coronary artery disease should not undergo HT.
Some facts about HT
- HT refers to either estrogen or a combination of estrogen & progestin.
- The term Hormone therapy or HT is used to replace the outdated term Hormone replacement therapy or HRT
- The use of estrogen without progestin increases the risk of uterine cancer.
- There are other safe & effective non-hormonal methods for treating women’s concerns regarding osteoporosis.
Medical checkups available for women on HT:
All women undergoing HT should have a medical checkup every year. The doctor will perform a mammogram test to get the x-ray images of the breast. This is used to check for the masses in the breast which might be cancerous cells. The women should also discuss the bleeding pattern with her physician to be sure if that is the expected pattern for her type of HT.
If a woman wants to do against the HT then there are many other ways to deal with the symptoms of menopause. Personal lubrication products such as water-soluble jelly may be applied to the vagina to avoid dryness.
Brain tumor: symptoms, treatment & cure in India
The brain controls the entire the functioning of the body. It is a soft, spongy mass made up of a large number of tissues. The bones & the different layers of the tissues play a vital role in protecting the brain. The cerebrospinal fluid that flows between the spaces of the meninges & the ventricles, also contributes in protecting the brain. The brain controls the voluntary & the involuntary muscles which help us to perform various tasks such as walking, talking, etc (voluntary) and breathing, response to stimuli etc (involuntary) actions. The brain also controls the sense organs, memory systems, physical & mental emotions and an individual’s personality.
The 3 main parts of the brain that control various activities are:
- Cerebrum: this part of the brain processes the information from all the sense organs which help us in understanding the surrounding and also enables us to respond accordingly. It controls activities like reading, thinking, talking, emotions, & learning. The cerebrum is divided into 2 cerebral hemispheres: the left & the right hemisphere. The left cerebral hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body & the right cerebral hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body.
- Cerebellum: this part of the body controls various complex actions such as the balance of the body while walking or standing.
- Brain stem: the brain stem is responsible for connecting the brain to the spinal cord. It controls various body functions such as breathing, body temperature, blood pressure, etc.
Any small damage to the brain can alter the entire system of the human body. Have you ever noticed a very common headache has the ability to make you feel very weak & tired? You feel inactive and it often dozes you to sleep. In that case, you can very well imagine how horrible it would be to suffer from a brain tumor. So, this article mainly emphasizes on the types of brain tumor, diagnosis, & treatment procedures.
A primary brain tumor is the one that originates in the brain and is usually not cancerous & do not spread that easily to surrounding tissues. The exact cause of brain tumor is not known till date. There are only a few risk factors that can lead to or increase the chances of causing a brain tumor. Some of which are listed below:
- Exposure to high levels of radiations
- Genetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis
- Age is also a risk factor when it comes to this health condition. People between 65 to 80 years of age are at greater risk of brain tumor.
Types & grades of brain tumor:
The normal metabolic process of the body is that the normal cells grow old or get damaged with time and gradually die. New cells take up their place and the process continues. What happens at times is that there are chances that this process might go wrong. New cells grow when the body does not require it or the damaged cells may not die as and when they should. This leads to the extra cells being buildup which eventually forms a mass of tissue called the tumor.
Primary brain tumors may be benign or malignant and are never cancerous. These tumors can be easily removed and they usually don’t appear again. The benign tumor cells neither affect the tissues surrounding it nor do they spread to other parts of the body. However, these tumors may turn out to be serious & cause life-threatening situations when they develop on sensitive areas of the brain.
Unlike benign tumors in other parts of the body, benign brain tumors may be malignant which means they might turn out to be cancerous. Malignant brain tumors are otherwise called as brain cancer. These tumors are more serious and are often a threat to life. They grow rapidly and also affect the nearby healthy cells & tissues.
Doctors have categorized the tumors by grades. The grades are based on how the tumor cells look under a microscope. The tumors are broadly divided into 4 grades.
- Grade 1: In this, the cells look like normal brain cells under a microscope. They grow very slowly and do not affect the surrounding tissues and hence are benign tissues.
- Grade 2: the cells when viewed under a microscope do not look the same like normal brain cells. They grow & multiply rapidly as compared to grade 1 tumor cells. The tissues are malignant in this case.
- Grade 3: in this grade, the malignant cells look very much different from the normal brain cells under a microscope. The abnormal cells grow actively and spread at a faster rate.
- Grade 4: the malignant cells look very abnormal under a microscope and spread more rapidly to the surrounding tissues.
What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
The symptoms of a brain tumor depend on the size, location & type of brain tumor. The symptoms are not readily noticeable at the initial stages of a brain tumor. The symptoms become noticeable when a tumor presses on a nerve or harms a part of the brain. The symptoms may also develop when the tumor blocks the pathway of the fluid that flows around the brain or when the brain is likely to swell when the fluid starts building up.
Those listed below are some of the common symptoms of brain tumor:
- Frequent headaches which get worse in the mornings
- Sudden noticeable changes in speech, vision & hearing
- Vomiting & Nausea
- Problems in balancing the body or walking
- Frequent mood swings
- Abnormal changes in personality
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Problems in memory
- Numbness in the legs & arms
- Frequent muscle seizures or muscle pulls
- Weakness in one part of the body
The above symptoms are quite common to a number of other health conditions. Don’t assume that you are suffering from a brain tumor just because you experience one of the above symptoms. It is always better to check with your doctor.
How is brain tumor diagnosed?
The doctor begins the examination by inspecting you with your medical history, family history and also asks questions about the symptoms and how long have you been suffering from it. The doctor then goes for a physical & neurological exam. In case, he/she suspects a brain tumor then he may suggest you take up one of the following tests.
Imaging tests such as CT or MRI scan will help in retrieving detailed images of the brain. Angiogram and X-ray of blood vessels in the brain may also be taken to observe signs of a brain tumor or abnormal blood vessels.
Sometimes, the doctor may also suggest for a biopsy to see if the tumor is cancerous. A tissue sample is taken from the brain either during the surgery or by inserting a small needle through a small hole drilled into the skull before the treatment commences. The sample is then sent to the lab for further testing.
A spinal tap is a procedure in which the doctor removes a cerebrospinal fluid from the lower part of the spinal cord. This is performed using anesthesia. The doctor uses a long thin needle to remove the fluid. This procedure will take about 30 minutes. You will have to lie flat to keep from getting a headache.
What if the tumor is in the brain stem or in any other sensitive part of the brain? It is not that easy to remove a sample tissue from these parts without actually disturbing the surrounding normal brain cells. Then, in such a case, the doctor will recommend you go for an MRI or CT scan to study as much as possible about the brain tumor.
How is the brain tumor treated?
There are various treatment options available for people with brain tumors. Brain surgery, radiation therapy & chemotherapy are some of the treatment options. Many people go in for a combination of treatments. The type of treatment depends on various factors such as the location of the tumor in the brain, the size of the tumor, the type & grade of brain tumor, the age and health of the patient.
The doctor might also need to know if the brain cancer has affected the cerebrospinal fluid. You doctor will make you aware of the treatment options, the associated side effects & the expected outcomes. You and your healthcare team can work together to develop the treatment plans, how the treatment will affect your normal activities and so on. The treatment plan developed should be in such a way so as to meet your personal & medical needs.
Surgery is usually the first treatment for brain tumor. A craniotomy is a surgery performed to open the skull. The surgeon will make a small incision through your scalp and uses a special type of saw to take a piece of bone from the skull. You will be awake when the surgeon removes part or whole of the tumor. You will be asked to move your hands & legs, count, tell a story or say the alphabets. Your ability to respond correctly to these commands will help them to protect the important parts of your brain.
Once the tumor is removed, the surgeon closes the opening in the skull with help of a piece of bone, metal or fabric. The surgeon then closes the incision on the scalp.
Other treatment options such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy are preferred when the brain tumor cannot be removed by surgical means. This happens when the brain tumor is located in the cerebrospinal fluid or another sensitive part of the brain.
After the brain surgery, you might feel very weak & tired. The healing time after the surgery varies from person to person. Sometimes a second surgery may be needed to drain the fluid. Another complication after the surgery is that there is a high risk of infections. If this happens then you will be treated with an antibiotic.
Sometimes brain surgery may unknowingly damage other normal brain tissues & cells. Brain damage is a serious problem as it will adversely affect the thinking, reading, balancing, and other physical activities of a person. These damages may lessen or disappear over time, but sometimes they might turn out to be permanent damage. One may require speech therapy, physical therapy & occupational therapy to recover slowly from this effect.
With the present lifestyle and eating habits, we are very much aware of the deadly disease called cancer. Till date, we have not found the exact cause of cancerous cells being multiplied in our body. On the other hand, there is also another type of tumor cells which are noncancerous and do not multiple within called the fibroids.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system. Made of smooth muscle cells & fibrous connective tissues, fibroids are firm & compact tumor cells that develop in the uterus.
It has been found that about 30-50% of the women in the reproductive age have fibroids although, all of which are not diagnosed. So, fortunately, in about 99% of the fibroid cases, the tumors are non-cancerous. These tumors are in no way associated with cancer and do not increase the risk of uterine cancer in women.
Uterine fibroids also called as leiomyomas or myomas are non-cancerous cells that develop in the uterus often during the pregnancy periods. They are not associated with the increased risk of uterine cancer and never develop into cancer.
Fibroids are undetectable by the human eye and often range from the size of a seedling to bulky masses that can distort or enlarge the uterus. You may develop a single fibroid or multiple ones. Sometimes, the fibroids may expand the uterus so much that it will reach the rib cage.
It is most commonly developed at the time of menopause as well. Most women do not know that they have uterine fibroids as it does not cause any symptoms.
Your doctor may detect the presence of fibroids at the time of pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.
What are some of the noticeable symptoms?
Most women with fibroids have no symptoms at all. Some develop mild symptoms while others have severe & disruptive symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Abnormal bleeding during menstrual periods
- Pelvic pain
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain during intercourse
- A firm mass located near the pelvic region
In some cases, irregular menstrual periods, or the abnormal bleeding between periods, can lead to iron-deficiency and result in anemia, which then requires treatment. The treatment for fibroids depends on the location, size & number of fibroids. However, these symptoms may differ from individual to another individual. A fibroid can cause acute pain when it gets less amount of blood supply and begins to die.
Fibroids are classified depending on their location.
Intramural fibroids develop in the uterine wall. Those fibroids that develop in the uterine cavity are called submucosal fibroids. The fibroids that project outside the uterus are called subserosal fibroids.
What causes fibroids in women?
Doctors do not know the exact reason of uterine fibroids. Researches & studies have found out the following to be the main causes of uterine fibroids. The causes include:
- HORMONES: the 2 main hormones, estrogen & progesterone that play a vital role in the development of uterine lining at the time of pregnancy or menstrual cycle are responsible for stimulating the growth of fibroids in the uterus. Fibroids contain a large number of these hormones than the normal muscle cells do. After the menopause, the amount of hormone secretion gradually reduces. As a result, the fibroids tend to shrink.
- GENETIC CHANGES: many fibroids contain changes in genes which are quite different from those in the normal muscle cells.
- OTHER GROWTH FACTORS: insulin-like growth factors that help the body to maintain tissues might affect the growth of fibroids.
The uterine fibroids develop from a stem cell in the smooth muscular tissue of the uterus. A single cell divides repeatedly forming a rubbery mass. The growth patterns of fibroids largely depend on person to person. The growth may appear slowly or rapidly. At times, it seems to remain in same size throughout.
What are the risk factors associated with uterine fibroids?
Other than being a woman of reproductive age, there are other risk factors associated with uterine fibroids. Other factors that influence the fibroid growth include:
- HEREDITY: if your mother or sister had one, then even you are at increased risk of developing a fibroid.
- RACE: Black women are more likely to have fibroids than women of other racial groups. They are likely to develop one at an earlier age and may also have fibroids of larger size.
Other complications that affect the growth of uterine fibroids are:
- Onset of menstruation at an early stage
- Use of birth control pills
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Diet higher in red meat & lower in green vegetables, fruits & dairy
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Fibroids do not interfere with getting pregnant. However, fibroids might cause infertility or loss of pregnancy. Other complications that result from fibroids include placental abruption, fetal growth restriction & preterm delivery.
How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?
Uterine fibroids are found during the pelvic exam. The doctor may observe some abnormalities in the shape of your uterus thereby suggesting the presence of fibroids.
Your doctor may suggest you take up the following tests:
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound is used to confirm the presence the fibroids. It uses sound waves to detect the presence of fibroids and also to measure its size and location. The doctor places the ultrasound device over your abdomen or places it inside your vagina to get the images of the uterus.
- LAB TESTS: if you have abnormal menstrual bleeding, then your doctor may suggest you take up a lab test to identify the potential cause. This might include complete blood count (CBC) to see if you are anemic due to abnormal blood loss and other types of blood tests to rule out issues like thyroid problems & bleeding disorders.
If the traditional ultrasound does not provide necessary information then the doctor might suggest other advanced imaging techniques. These include:
- MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI): this test helps to identify the size & location of fibroids, different types of tumors and also help with appropriate treatment options.
- HYSTEROSONOGRAPHY: this technique is also called as saline infusion sonogram. It makes use of sterile saline to expand the uterine cavity. This makes it easy to get images of the endometrium & the submucosal fibroids.
- HYSTEROSALPINGOGRAPHY: it makes use of a contrast medium or a dye to highlight the uterine cavity & the fallopian tubes so that these areas are well seen under an x-ray This helps the doctor to identify any abnormalities in the shape of the uterus. It helps not only in detecting fibroids but also to identify if the fallopian tuare open.
- HYSTEROSCOPY: in this medical procedure doctor inserts a small device called Hysteroscope through your cervix into the uterus. He then injects saline into the uterus, which expands the uterine cavity and allows the doctor to examine the uterine walls
What are the treatment options for uterine fibroids?
The noninvasive treatment procedures include:
Some of the minimally invasive procedures include:
Minimally invasive procedures include destroying the uterine fibroids without actually removing it through surgery.
Uterine artery embolization: the arteries supplying the uterus are injected with small particles. These particles will then prevent the blood flow to the uterine fibroids, thereby stunting its growth. In due course, it will shrink the fibroids and causes it to die. We need to be aware of the complications that might occur if the blood supply to other ovaries and organs are blocked.
Myolysis: it is a laparoscopic technique that uses radiofrequency energy, electric current & laser to destroy the fibroids. This technique also shrinks the blood vessels that feed them. Cryomyolisis is a similar procedure that freezes the fibroids.
Robotic myomectomy: in this technique, the doctor removes the fibroids without disturbing the uterus. If the fibroids are small and few in number, you and your doctor may opt for a laparoscopic or robotic procedure, which uses small instruments inserted through small incisions in your abdomen to remove the fibroids from your uterus. Another procedure called as morcellation is a method by which the fibroids are removed by breaking them into smaller pieces.
Hysteroscopic myomectomy: if the fibroids are present inside the uterus, then this method may be opted. The surgeon removes fibroids using instruments that are inserted through your vagina and cervix into the uterus.
Options for traditional surgical procedures include:
- Abdominal myomectomy.If you have multiple fibroids, very large fibroids or very deep fibroids, your doctor may use an open abdominal surgical procedure to remove the fibroids
- Hysterectomy: it is a major surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus to put an end to the uterine fibroids. It is a proven permanent solution for uterine fibroids.
In the next section of this article let us have a deeper look at the hysterectomy procedure.
Why is hysterectomy performed?
The doctor may suggest you undergo hysterectomy for the following reasons:
- Uncontrollable vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Fibroids which are tumors that grow in the uterus
- Cancers of uterus, cervix or ovaries
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases which are the main causes of infection in the reproductive organs
- Uterine prolapsed which occurs when the uterus drops through the cervix and comes out of the vagina
- Endometriosis, a disorder in the inner lining of the uterus that grows outside of the uterine cavity causing pain.
Hysterectomy is a safest and low-risk surgical procedure. However, it should not be used on all women who still wish to give birth in the future. Fortunately, many conditions that are treated with hysterectomy can also be treated by others ways. For instance, hormone therapy can be used to treat endometriosis and fibroids can also be removed by simple surgery. Hysterectomy is the only option when it comes to uterine or cervical cancer.
Types of hysterectomy:
- Partial Hysterectomy: during this procedure, only a part of your uterus is removed. The cervix is left intact.
- Total Hysterectomy: during this procedure, the entire uterus is removed along with the cervix. You will have to have regular pelvic examinations.
- Hysterectomy and salpingo-Oophorectomy: during this procedure, the entire uterus along with one or both the ovaries and fallopian tube is removed. One may need hormone replacement therapy if both the ovaries are removed.
How is hysterectomy performed?
Hysterectomy can be carried out in many ways. All the methods require general or local anesthesia. A general anesthesia will put you to sleep where as a local anesthesia will numb that particular area alone but you will still be awake. Sometimes anesthesia will be combined with a sedative so that you feel sleepy and relaxed throughout the procedure.
Abdominal hysterectomy: In this procedure, the uterus is removed through a large cut in the abdomen. The incision may be vertical or horizontal. Both these types will heal quickly and leave a scar on the surface.
Vaginal hysterectomy: In this procedure, the uterus is removed through a small incision in the vagina. There are no visible cuts and no scars seen on the outer body.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy: In this procedure, the doctor uses a small instrument called laparoscope. It is a long narrow tube, which consists of a high-intensity light and high-resolution camera to capture the images. These images will be displayed on the screen. In this, 3 or 4 incisions are made in the uterus instead of one large incision. The surgeon then cut the uterus into small pieces and removes one piece at a time.
What are the risks of hysterectomy?
This is considered to be the safest procedure. Any medical procedure has its own advantages and risks associated with it. Some of the risks associated with it are:
- Heavy bleeding
- Infection around the incision site
- Injury to bladder, intestines and surrounding blood vessels
Once the surgery is over you will be monitored for your heartbeat and breathing. If everything turns normal then you can be discharged. However, you will have to stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days. Doctors will encourage you to do light exercises such as walking as it helps to prevent blood clots. If you have undergone vaginal hysterectomy, then you may experience bloody or brownish drainage from the vagina for 10 days. So using a menstrual pad is advisable.
Even after you are discharged, you should avoid doing certain activities such as pushing or pulling objects, bending, lifting heavy objects, sexual intercourse, etc
Recovery time is comparatively longer if one undergoes an abdominal hysterectomy. Complete recovery will take about 4 to 6 weeks.
Here is something unusual! I’m pretty sure you must not be familiar with this! Have you heard of hypervolemia? Here in this article, you will get to know a lot about it. Come on a read through it and you will be amazed to know what it is!
Hypervolemia is a condition in which there is an excessive buildup of fluid in the body. It is otherwise known as fluid overload. The body fluids are primarily composed of sodium & water. When this level of fluid starts building up, it leads to an excessive circulating volume which can result in heart failure.
Some interesting facts about Hypervolemia:
- ¨ The entire is made up of 70% of water which are distributed into various compartments.
- ¨ The charged particles called electrolytes are responsible for the balance of total fluid in the body.
- ¨ The sodium electrolyte has an electric charge that enables it to attract water.
- ¨ Urination, perspiration, and defecation are various factors responsible for water loss in the body.
What causes hypervolemia?
- EXCESSIVE SODIUM OR FLUID INTAKE:
- This occurs when IV is used in rapid rate or in larger volume than what is actually needed.
- When the administration of wrong IV is done it can cause an imbalance in the sodium levels in the blood.
Transfusion reaction by blood transfusion:
- Transfusion reaction by rapid infusion or larger volume of blood may cause fluid overload.
- LIVER CIRRHOSIS: Cirrhosis is when the liver stops functioning properly (which also can be caused by a number of factors). When the liver stops functioning properly, it can trigger hypervolemia.
- HEART PROBLEMS: Heart problems can cause excess fluid in the blood. Heart congestion, in particular, can slow the pumping of blood through the body which can lead to fluid buildup.
- KIDNEY PROBLEMS:Certain kidney issues like nephrotic syndrome can interfere with the transfer of fluids in the body, which can cause the kidney to trigger hypervolemia. Glomerulonephritis can cause the kidney to excrete excess fluids that can also cause hypervolemia.
- Coughing and Difficulty Breathing: Shortness of breath is another sign of fluid overload. The heart is strained as it contends with the increased volume and fluid enters the lung which leads to difficulty with breathing. This difficulty breathing is worse when lying flat. Depending on the severity of the pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), a person may report a feeling of suffocation. There may also be persistent coughing which also may worsen when lying flat.
- Lower Urine Output: Although the amount of urine passed out may be within normal limits, it does not correlate with the amount of fluid being consumed or administered. In other words, more water is entering the body than being expelled as urine without there being major fluid loss through sweating, vomiting or diarrhea. In some conditions, the urine output may be abnormally low or even cease altogether for periods of time.
Less important factors that contribute to fluid buildup in the body are as follows:
- Certain medications
- Reaction to stress
What are the symptoms of hypervolemia?
- EDEMA: it is also called as swelling. It is a condition where there is a buildup of fluid in the legs and arms.
- ASCITES: it is a condition where there is excess fluid buildup in the abdomen.
- Strong and rapid pulse rate
- Elevated central venous pressure
- Increased pulmonary artery pressure
- Low levels of hemoglobin
- Jugular vein distention
- Respiratory pattern changes
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty in breathing while lying down
- X-ray results show pulmonary edema.
- Urinary Problems: Fluid retention is a major cause behind hypervolemia. The amount of fluid that you are taking in isn’t exiting the body in the form of urine. You may feel the need to go, but not much will come out.
- Sudden weight gain: one may experience a sudden gain in weight due to hypervolemia. This is because the extra fluid you are retaining in will add on to your weight.
Diagnosis of hypervolemia:
You have all of the symptoms, and you’ve made your way to the doctor’s office. How is the doctor going to determine whether you have hypervolemia?
Hypervolemia is mainly diagnosed by its symptoms. The doctor will also go over your medical history to look for things that could have triggered hypervolemia especially if you have a history of liver or kidney problems.
Blood work and chest radiographs may also be used to take a look inside you and confirm the doctor’s suspicions. If you have been diagnosed, treatment can then begin.
Treatment or hypervolemia:
Suppose, the doctor has finished his diagnosis and your fears have been confirmed. You are currently suffering from hypervolemia. The good news is that once it’s been diagnosed, it becomes fairly easy to treat. Hypervolemia treatments may include:
Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. There are 2 types of dialysis:
- Peritoneal dialysis
Haemodialysis: it is the most common type of dialysis and the most type of dialysis that people are aware of. During the procedure, a tube is attached to a needle in the arm. Blood passes through the tube and through an external machine and filters it before it passes through the arm through another tube. This is usually carried out 3 times a week and each session lasts for about 4 hours.
Peritoneal dialysis: this uses the inside lining of your abdomen to filter rather than an external machine. Like the kidneys, the peritoneum contains a number of blood vessels making it a useful filtering device. Before the treatment starts, an incision is made near your belly button and a thin tube called catheter is inserted through it. This is left in place permanently.
The fluid is pumped into the peritoneal cavity through the catheter. As the blood passes through the cavity, wastes and other fluids are drawn out of the blood and into the dialysis fluid.
- Change in diet:
Your doctor will suggest you follow a low-sodium diet that will help reduce the amount of fluid buildup in the body.
- Arteriovenous & venovenous hemofiltration:
This is another way of filtering excess fluid from the body or bloodstreams targeting the kidneys.
If you’ve dealt with hypervolemia or after reading this article, never want to have to deal with hypervolemia, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent it. Here are a couple helpful tips.
- Low-sodium diet:The buildup of excess sodium can help trigger hypervolemia, keep your sodium levels at a reasonable level.
- Watch your fluids: If you are going to have a blood transfusion or if you have any of the medical issues we described in the above sections, keep an eye on your fluids. Make sure you’re not retaining too much fluid, keep an eye on your urine to see if you are let out as much fluid as you are putting in.
Hypervolemia Needs Treatment!
When dealing with hypervolemia, vigilance is best—especially if you have any of the underlying health conditions that may lead to it. If you are struggling with liver or kidney issues, for example, the last thing you want is to deal with the additional issues that come with hypervolemia. If you notice that you are starting to show many of the symptoms of hypervolemia, seek a doctor immediately. The faster you get treatment, the better your body will be for it.
Doctor miracle is still alive and treating 40 fortunate patients everyday in the secluded town of Mcleodganj in Himanchal Pradesh. Patients from all over the globe, with serious and fatal ailments try their luck with him, and many of them report miraculous healing.
Dr. Yeshi Dhonden was born in Lhoka, Tibet on 15th May 1927, to a prosperous farming family in the village of Yamdro in the district called Hlo-go, close to Lhasa, Tibet. His family comes from a very popular medical lineage. He is very genius that he got to finish his medical training at the age of 20 itself! In 1960, he took up the challenge to found Men Tsee Khang, the Tibetan medical college and was succeeded. He was the Principal and the Director of the college until 1970.
Yeshi Dhonden is a Buddhist monk and was Dalai Lama’s personal physician for about 20 years, from 1960 to 1980. His main goal was to prove to the world that these Tibetan formulae are safe and completely non-toxic and have successfully done it. He uses Tibetan herbal medicines and diet for curing cancer. Since 1970, he has a long list of patients seeking his medical care at his Dharmashala.
Over the past 50 years, he has successfully treated a number of patients with all kinds of ailments. He is considered as one of the foremost doctors in the world. He is specially trained in cancer treatments and has cured a large number of cancer patients all over the world, and even woman with breast cancer. He is also successful in treating diseases such as AIDS and cancer. He uses some of the oldest Tibetan herbal therapies to cure the ailments. He has even done wonders saving the lives of cancer patients who are in the last stage of cancer.
Unfortunately, Tibetan Medicine is still virtually unknown in the west, where the cancer epidemic is out of control. In 1994, upon meeting Dr. Helene Smith, renown cancer researcher, genealogist, & the director of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, & Dr. Debashish from University of California, Dr. Dhonden agreed to collaborate on the first formal FDA approved the phase1/2 study in the world.
With dedication, Dr. yeshi dhonden has been a pioneer bringing world awareness of this very sophisticated, powerful and effective approach to healing to the west.
Visiting a Tibetan doctor!
If you ever wish to see Dr. yeshi or any other Tibetan doctor it is better to avoid spicy foods, coffee, black tea, and alcohol the previous night. The first thing to do in the morning is to collect some sample of urine before you visit the doctor and go to the clinic as soon as possible. Be the first few to get the coupon when the distribution starts at 10 a.m.
The doctor will observe the patient, the quality of urine, and then read the 12 pulses that act as a messenger between the doctor and the patient. You can ask questions to discover as much as possible.
An important note to the patients out there!
Dr. yeshi does not have any access to emails so patients can’t forward questions to him to find solutions. The only way is to personally meet him at his clinic.
Successful treatment for AIDS, cancer and other diseases by Tibetan medicines:
Dr. yeshi is very successful in treating diseases such as AIDS and cancer. He uses some of the oldest Tibetan herbal therapies to cure the ailments. He has even done wonders saving the lives of cancer patients who are in the last stage of cancer. There have been good success rates with cancer disease with these medicines where the doctors in others parts of the world where not even able to identify the cause of cancer.
It is not part of the Tibetan custom to know the proportion of people who have been benefitted with their treatment. Henceforth, they do not maintain any records or journals of the patients who have received treatments and cured out of it.
Treatment for AIDS:
When the AIDS epidemic initially broke out, he knew nothing much about the new diseases. It was much later when a couple came to meet him he was able to provide the required diagnoses and treatment. He handed over the couple the medications for few months and promised them they would recover from it. After taking these medicines, the couple was actually benefitted out of it.
These medicines then came into existence in many parts of the world like the US, Australia, Germany, Italy, etc.
In about 25 to 30 days, some will start experiencing the results of the medicine. Most people who visit are having chronic diseases and hence should not expect that the recovery will be soon.
Here we will discuss a case study. Some years ago there were two Indian brothers, one in his 20’s and other was double his age. Both simultaneously came down with brain tumors. They were diagnosed, and the doctors told them, “You should both have operations to have these things surgically removed.” The older brother said, “Well, look, there’s no problem if I die before my younger brother; after all, I’m older. And so let him have the finer treatment.” They couldn’t afford two operations.
I said, “What I suggest is maybe why don’t you both hold off on the operation and just give Tibetan medicine a try.” These two brothers decided the older brother would sacrifice the hospital treatment and surgical procedure for the sake of his younger brother. He wanted to make sure he had the best of everything. The younger brother then went to the hospital and had his tumor surgically removed, and the older brother took Tibetan medicine. Well, for a while it looked like the younger brother was doing pretty well and the older brother was doing pretty well. But then, in the case of the younger brother, another tumor formed, he had to go for another surgical operation, and then he died. The older brother never had an operation, he only had Tibetan medicine, and he’s now into his 60s.
This case study is a good proof for us to believe the power of Tibetan medicine. Without any surgical procedures or invasion, they are able to bring about 100% recovery.
There are a number of cases in which people suffering from illness have got 100% benefits by taking these Tibetan medicines. There was a case of a woman who was immobilized and really crippled. She continued these medicines for about 6 months and got complete recovery from the ailment.
For the range of illness that comes under the single roof of jaundice, hepatitis, gall bladder, liver failure, etc there is simply no count on the number of patients who have attended the treatment and got benefitted.
Those people suffering from leukemia and blood cancer have also got benefitted from Tibetan medicines. But, in these cases, the patients have to take medicines for really long time. All cases of leukemia are treatable with Tibetan medicines. There is particularly one type of leukemia which turns out to be difficult to be cured with Tibetan medicine. When there is a high count of white blood cells cancer spreads easily to the lymph nodes and becomes difficult to treat.
People suffering from stroke have also seen success from Tibetan medicine. What I found is that if such patients are in their 40s or younger and take Tibetan medicine, the medication is very, very effective. If they’re in their 50s or older, they still get some benefit but not as much. This is assuming once again that they have not had any operations or anything else that would complicate their situation. If it’s just been Tibetan medicine, then that’s the case. The older will be benefitted but not to the fullest!
There are 42 different types of specifically women’s ailments. There are nine types of tumors, and there are 16 types of ailments involving the channels of various sorts. It’s not like there’s just breast cancer – the breast cancer is always situated in a context involving the three tumors. There could be microorganisms involved. There are so many different factors in treating each person in a tailor-made fashion, one that’s perfectly appropriate for the individual. Tibetan medicines were able to cure these tumors and bring back the women to normal life.
What are the dietary changes that one has to take up?
During a Tibetan treatment, one has to avoid fried foods, spicy foods, boiled and fermented foods. It is even better to avoid coffee, tobacco, alcohol during the cancer treatments.
Generally speaking, macrobiotic diets are good for people with cancer, with one exception: a number of macrobiotic diets entail quite a few sour foods. Keep low on sour foods. Avoid strong meats, such as chicken, pork, and beef. Such people can eat fish. That’s not so bad.
According to the Tibetan tradition, they believe that sickness is caused by karma. There are about 404 types of illness. They are said to be illnesses just within this life, and these also arise due to circumstances in this life. The illness arises in this life and it finishes in this life. So, in that case, you don’t speak of karma from lifetime to lifetime.
Then there’s another sub-class of illnesses that includes serious illnesses that do arise as a result of karma from lifetime to lifetime. Those are karmically-induced illnesses; but in some cases, if the patient engages in very, very strong purifying practices, creating a great deal of merit, in some cases, even those can be cured. The Tibetan customs and treatments are based on these beliefs.
It is quite interesting to know that many chronic serious ailments are cured by the hands of Tibetans without any kind of surgical procedures or without involving any kind of modern medical equipment.
To know more interesting facts and details about Dr. Yashi Dhonden and more about the Tibetan medicines and treatments visit our website Free Doctor Helpline or call us at +918010555444.
Are you waiting for that big day in your life? Are you thinking of the delivery process? Are you aware of both normal and caesarean method of giving birth? Are you clueless about which delivery option is safe for you and your baby? Don’t worry! Reading this article will help you find answers to all your queries.
The most beautiful quality of a mother is to give birth to their babies. The babies can enter into this world in 2 ways: pregnant women can have either a vaginal birth or a planned surgical delivery by caesarean section. The ultimate goal is to give birth to a healthy baby. Arm yourself with handy information and talk to your doctor and find out which suits you the best.
All you need to know about caesarean section:
A c-section or caesarean section is the delivery of the baby through a surgical incision made in the mother’s uterus and abdomen. Caesarean is a major operation that carries a number of risks so it is done only if it is the safest option for the baby and mother.
Why are cesareans carried out?
In some cases, it is scheduled in advance whereas in others it is done in response to unforeseen complications. If a vaginal birth is too risky then doctors go for a caesarean surgery.
A caesarean may be carried out in the following cases:
- If your baby is in the breech position (feet first) and doctors are unable to turn it by applying gentle pressure on your tummy.
- If you have pregnancy-related high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- If you have low-lying placenta
- If your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients.
- If there’s excessive vaginal bleeding
- If you are carrying more than one baby
Some women opt for caesarean than normal delivery even without medical reasons. In such cases, they should be made aware of the risks and complications associated with it.
What happens during a caesarean?
Most cesareans are carried under spinal or epidural anesthetic which means you will be awake but the lower part of your body will be numbed so that you won’t feel the pain.
During the procedure:
- A catheter is inserted into the urethra to drain urine during the procedure.
- A screen is placed across your body so you can’t see what is being done. Doctors and nurses will tell you what is happening.
- A cut of about 10-20 cm long is made across your tummy and womb so that your baby may be delivered.
- You may feel some tugging and pull during the procedure.
- Once the cord is cut you can have a chance of looking at your baby before handing him or her to the pediatrician.
- The doctor will then deliver your placenta and begin closing up the cut.
Recovering from a caesarean:
Recovering from caesarean takes much longer time than recovering from vaginal delivery. You may have to stay for a longer duration at the hospital. One might feel discomfort with their tummy and you will be provided painkillers to cope up with this. The wound in your tummy will be red at first and slowly it begins to scar. In some time, it gets hidden in your pubic hair.
Risks factors associated with caesarean:
Though it seems to be the safest procedure it has its own risk and complications associated with it. You should be even more aware of the risks if you undergo this surgery without medical reasons.
The possible risks are:
- ¨ Infection in womb lining or the wound
- ¨ Excessive bleeding
- ¨ Blood clots
- ¨ Temporary breathing difficulties in your baby
- ¨ Damage to nearby areas such as bladder and tubes that connect to kidneys
Women are 3 times likely to die during a caesarean section than during a vaginal birth. This is due to blood clots, infections, complications from using anesthesia. Once a woman had her first c-section delivery then her future pregnancies are also likely to be the same way. She is also at greater risk of future pregnancy complications such as uterine rupture and placenta abnormalities. The risk for placenta continues to increase with every c-section delivery.
Future pregnancies after caesarean:
If you have a baby by caesarean then it does not mean that all your successive pregnancy will also be caesarean. Most women can safely have a vaginal delivery for their next baby that is known as vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). You will just have to ensure if all processing goes on smoothly. Some cases, men may be advised to take up another caesarean if that is only the safest procedure for both the mother and the baby.
However, there are not a lot of advantages in a caesarean section. If the women know in advance that she will need a c-section, then a surgery can be planned and scheduled well in advance depending on the health condition of the mother and the baby.
All you need to know about normal delivery:
Every delivery is unique and individual as the mother and the infant. Giving birth will leave an impression on you for rest of your life. It is so obvious that each one of you would like to have a positive experience and should know what to expect? Here we give you some ideas about what may happen as you deliver a baby.
The vaginal birth is the most natural way of giving birth. Once you give birth the vaginal way, your hospital stay after the delivery is shorter, there is no incision or major scarring nor is it surgically invasive. The recovery time after a vaginal birth is lesser also the complications after a vaginal birth is much lesser than a caesarean section.
Vaginal birth has many benefits for the babies too. Both the mother and the child will prepare and progress naturally for the vaginal birth. As your baby passes through the vaginal opening, all the amniotic fluid present in the baby’s lungs will be flushed out, your baby will also ingest some protective bacteria that will strengthen the immune system.
One more added advantage for the baby is that the mother can come in contact with the baby much earlier than the women who has undergone a surgery. The woman can also initiate breastfeeding sooner.
What happens during a normal delivery?
The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus which finally opens into the vagina. The cervix is a tubular structure with 3-4 cm in length. During the labor, the role of the cervix changes from maintaining the pregnancy to facilitating childbirth. The cervical canal must open until the cervical opening reached 10 cm in diameter and the baby is able to pass through the canal. Though there aren’t any significant injuries, the cervix may tear and requires repair. The vaginal tissues are soft and flexible but still during the process of giving birth, due to extensive force or rapid motion these tissues are subjected to tear.
What to expect after a normal delivery?
About 70% of the women having their first baby will have some sort of vaginal trauma requiring repair. Fortunately, the vagina and the cervix have a rich blood supply so the wounds in these areas will heal quickly.
If you decide to give birth naturally then you will go through two types of sensations: pain and pressure. As you begin to push, some of the pressure will be relieved. As the baby descends into the birth canal, you will experience pressure only during the contractions. It feels like a strong urge to have a bowel movement as the baby presses down the canal.
It has some cons too. In a vaginal birth, the entire process depends on the body’s readiness and timing. Hence, the process cannot be scheduled in advance and the mother has to be prepared all the while to give birth.
Which is better normal delivery or caesarean section?
A normal delivery is much better because when you go through caesarean, the recovery time is much longer. It might take up to 3 weeks for complete recovery and it is very difficult to walk or even move. As you are in pain, it becomes difficult to take care of the baby as well.
Here are some tips if you are planning to have a natural way of giving birth:
- Get a solid prenatal education
- Pick a health care provider who is into natural birth
- Do not gain too much weight
- Go for a low intervention pregnancy
- Spend early labor at home
- Use a lot of water for easing pain
To know more about normal delivery and caesarean sections, the treatment procedures and to get more health tips contact our doctors on free doctor helpline. Log on to Free doctor helpline or call us at +918010555444.
We have heard enough of diseases which are spread by mosquitoes. These diseases are considered serious and so catches immediate attention for treatment. The mosquitoes are well known for transmitting viruses from one person to another. One such harmful virus is the Zika virus. Unlike other viruses, the zika virus is a deadly virus.
In this article, we will learn more about the zika virus, its symptoms, treatments, and prevention methods. In due course, we will also come to know how deadly the virus is!
If a pregnant woman is infected by this zika virus, then it causes birth defects in babies born to those women. The babies are born with underdeveloped heads or brain damage. Zika virus is often linked to the Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition in which the immune system affects the nerves. The virus mainly spreads through mosquitoes although there are cases of sexual transmission.
Fortunately, the virus isn’t very common to Asia. The places vulnerable to zika virus are the United States, South Florida, and Mexico.
What is zika? How do you catch it?
The zika virus was first identified in Uganda and is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. This mosquito is responsible for carrying viruses that cause dengue fever, yellow fever & chikungunya virus. The mosquito first bites the infected person and then spreads the virus to other people it bites. Thus the mosquito acts as a carrier of zika virus. Do you wonder how zika is transmitted through sex?
A person who has traveled to an area where an outbreak of zika virus occurred, got the virus and could have transmitted the virus to the sex partner who has not traveled. In fact, infected pregnant women can transfer the virus on to their fetus.
Recent studies show that virus may be present in the bloodstream, saliva, semen, urine or even the fluid in the eye.
Here is a small case study for you. A person was infected with zika virus without traveling or coming into sexual contact. Do you wonder how? A zika patient who was infected by the virus a few months ago and was under treatment. The caregiver of this patient happen to come in contact with the tears and sweat of the zika patient. Lab tests proved that the virus is transmitted via sweat or tears of the patient.
What are the symptoms of zika?
The majority of the people who are infected by zika virus will certainly have no symptoms al all. Only 1 in 5 with the virus will exhibit the symptoms. But the sad part is that most people won’t know that they have it. The disease can cause fever, rashes, joint pain, redness in the white of the eye (conjunctivitis or pink eye).
The symptoms can appear anytime with 3 to 14 days after the first bite from the infected mosquito. The symptoms if appeared will last for few days or weeks. These symptoms are similar to those appearing for other infections like dengue fever, skin rashes, muscle pain, headache, malaise, etc.
Some of the commonly reported symptoms are listed below:
- Itching all over the body
- Pain behind the eyes
- Lower back pain
- Red eyes
- Severe headache
- Joint and muscle pain
If you notice these symptoms developing, especially if you are in a place prone to zika virus then immediately consult your doctor. A pregnant woman who has zika virus or symptoms at any point during the pregnancy should be tested for zika.
Once the person is infected with zika virus, then he/she has to be protected from other infections as well.
It is recommended that pregnant women should:
- ¨ Postpone non-essential travel to places that are at high risk of zika virus.
- ¨ Consider postponing non-essential to areas at moderate risk of zika virus transmission until after pregnancy.
If you travel to areas that are highly affected by zika virus then you can reduce the risk of infection by applying mosquito repellent and wearing loose clothing that fully covers your arms and legs.
To reduce the risk of infection and to avoid being bitten by an Aedes mosquito, you can follow the below tips.
- Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET ( N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). This can be used in pregnant woman and breastfeeding women in concentrations of 50% whereas in infants, children and older people it can be used in concentrations of 45-50%.
- Wear loose clothing that makes you feel comfortable and also protects from mosquito bites.
- Sleeping under a mosquito net is preferred especially in areas where malaria is also at risk.
How is zika treated?
Till date, there is no proper treatment for zika. However, people with symptoms will do well with the over-the-counter- medicines which will heal their pain and aches. The doctors recommend the zika patients take a lot of rest, drink plenty of water or other fluids to prevent dehydration and take acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain. Aspirin or other nonsteroidal drugs should not be taken to avoid the risk of bleeding. As of now, there is no vaccination for zika. The National Institute of Health is testing one for humans.
How are you tested for zika?
Basically, there are two tests for zika. One test will look for the pieces of genetic code of the virus in people with active infections. But this test does not work once the body clears the infection. This takes about 2 weeks after the symptoms appear.
Since 80% of the people with zika won’t know that they are affected by this virus nor do they have any symptoms of being infected by the virus. Another test will look for the proteins called antibodies which are made by the immune system to fight against the virus. This test can identify the antibodies in the blood up to 3 months after a person is infected. But this test isn’t specific. Sometimes it may mistakenly show a positive result for zika even if the person is infected with dengue or chikungunya.
Can zika lead to other health conditions?
Zika is often linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome. Often this will lead to partial or complete paralysis. Usually starting with legs and is temporary in many cases. Studies often show a link between the syndrome and the zika. this illness is mostly seen in areas such as France & Brazil.
How can I prevent zika?
If you cannot avoid traveling in the affected areas then better protect yourselves from mosquito bites by applying repellents throughout the day. It is better to wear long sleeves shirts and long pants wherever you go.
These mosquitoes are very aggressive during the day. So even you apply sunscreens don’t forget to apply repellents on top of it.
Some of the complications zika virus can also cause health disorders.WHO has concluded that zika virus is the main cause of congenital brain abnormalities including microcephaly. Zika virus is also a trigger of Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Advice for Pregnant Women:
- Discuss your travel plans with your general physician.
- If your travel is unavoidable then you will have to take extra care to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
- If you are in areas that are prone to zika virus, then use condoms during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Zika virus is most likely to be detected by currently available tests when symptoms are present. If you are currently experiencing Zika symptoms, contact your General physician, who will decide whether investigations are necessary. Investigations might include a blood test and/or an ultrasound test if you are pregnant.
Zika virus & blood donation:
The national health service has recently declared that people who are at high risk of zika virus infection should wait at least for 28 days before transmitting blood. To know more details about blood transmission after a zika infection contact the doctors at free doctor helpline.
Thyroid, a pear-shaped gland located just below your neck does many things within your body than you ever knew it does. It can regulate your energy levels, control your weight, makes you mood swing, etc. It regulates how your body interacts with other organs within it. The thyroid gland influences almost all the metabolic processes in the body.
So, unfortunately, for about 10 million women across the globe, this regulator is on the fritz. So what actually goes wrong??
The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones which are nearly used by every cell in the body. For the normal functioning of the body, the gland should secrete hormones is specific amounts. The thyroid disorders are characterized by the abnormal levels of thyroid hormones.
The 4 common thyroid disorders are:
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Graves’s disease
- Thyroid nodules
In this article, we will discuss in detail about each of these disorders.
Hashimoto’s disease is commonly known as chronic lymphatic thyroiditis. It is caused by hypothyroidism which is a condition that occurs due to an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones in the body. It can occur in people of any age but is most commonly cited in women of middle-age. This condition becomes noticeable when the body’s thyroid gland is mistakenly attacked by the immune system and it slowly destroys the thyroid gland and also adversely affects its ability to produce hormones which help in the metabolism of the body.
In the initial stages of the disorders, the symptoms are very mild and are often unnoticed. The disease can remain stable for years and the symptoms are often subtle. Often, there are no obvious symptoms or at times the symptoms are not very specific. This means they mimic the symptoms of other diseases or disorders and is very difficult to distinguish the rising of this new disease in the body. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Mild weight gain
- Dry or thinning hair
- Irregular menstruation
- Enlarged thyroid
- Intolerance to cold
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF HASHIMOTO’S DISEASE:
The very first step when screening for any type of thyroid disorder is to test the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Your doctor will ask you to take up a blood test to check the increased levels of TSH or to check for the low levels of thyroid hormones that are T3 or T4.
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, so the blood test might show abnormal antibodies that might be attacking the thyroid. There is no cure for the Hashimoto’s diseases. The only way to get relief is to keep the hormone levels under control. There are special medications that help in raising or lowering the levels of thyroid stimulating hormones. These medications are called as hormone-replacing medicines. These medicines also help relieve the symptoms of the disease.
In advanced cases of Hashimoto’s diseases, either a part or whole of the thyroid gland has to be removed. Surgery may be needed to remove a part or whole of the affected thyroid gland. Even if the disease is detected at an early stage there is no known cure for the disease. This is because the disease remains stable for years and progresses very slowly.
Grave’s disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism which is a condition that occurs due to excessive production of thyroid hormones. This disease is named after a doctor who has been describing it for more than 150 years. It is an autoimmune disorder, so the blood test might show abnormal antibodies that might be attacking the thyroid.
This disease is hereditary and can occur at any age in both men & women. Most commonly it is seen in women between 20 to 30 years of age. Other risk factors which can possibly result in this disease include:
When there is a high level of thyroid hormones in the blood stream the body’s system speeds up. This can cause certain symptoms which are common to hyperthyroidism. Those symptoms include:
- ¨ Anxiety
- ¨ Irritability
- ¨ Fatigue
- ¨ Excessive sweating
- ¨ Difficulty in breathing
- ¨ Increased or irregular heartbeat
- ¨ Difficulty in sleeping
- ¨ Diarrhea
- ¨ Frequent bowel movements
- ¨ Irregular menstrual cycle
- ¨ Enlarged thyroid
- ¨ Bulging eyes
- ¨ Other vision problems
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT FOR GRAVE’S DISEASE:
A simple physical examination is more than enough to detect the symptoms related to hyperthyroidism. It helps to identify enlarged thyroids, enlarged bulging eyes, rapid pulse and high blood pressure. ) Your doctor will ask you to take up a blood test to check the increased levels of TSH or to check for the low levels of thyroid hormones that are T3 or T4. You may also be asked to take up radioactive iodine to administer the measure of how quickly the thyroid absorbs iodine. A high intake of iodine is needed in case of grave’s disease.
There is no treatment to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid gland. However, the symptoms of grave’s disease can be controlled in a number of ways often with a combination of treatment. Some of the ways to control the symptoms are listed below:
- Beta-blockers are used to control rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and sweating
- Anti-thyroid medications to prevent thyroid gland from producing large amounts of thyroid hormones
- Radioactive iodine to destroy parts or whole of the thyroid
For patients who cannot tolerate anti-thyroid drugs or radioactive iodine will have only one last option which is to go in for a surgery. A surgery is often done to remove the thyroid gland. Successful hyperthyroidism treatments may lead to hypothyroidism. In such cases, you will have to take hormone replacement medications to move on with your life. Grave’s disease if left untreated may lead to major heart problems and even brittle bones.
Goiter is the noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland. The most common cause of goiter is iodine deficiency in the diet. Goiter is often caused or in many cases is the symptom of hyperthyroidism. Goiter can occur in people of any age group especially in areas where food rich in iodine are in shortage. This is because iodized food provides plenty of iodine in the diet. Women above 40 years of age are more vulnerable to thyroid problems and suffer from thyroid disorders. Other risk factors which can lead to thyroid include:
- Family medical history
- Certain medications
- Radiation exposure
As in other thyroid disorders, there will not be any symptoms in the initial stages of goiter. However, there will be some noticeable symptoms if goiter gets into a severe level. Some of the symptoms are listed below:
- Selling in the neck
- Tightness around the neck area
- Continuous Coughing or wheezing
- Hoarseness of the voice
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT OF GOITER
A physical examination is carried out to diagnose and treat goiter. Your doctor will ask you to take up a blood test to check the increased levels of TSH or to check for the low levels of thyroid hormones that are T3 or T4. This will check for thyroid disorders that are often a cause of goiter. An ultrasound of the thyroid may be carried out to check for swelling or nodules.
Goiter, even if detected in the early stage cannot be treated unless and until the condition becomes severe and the symptoms begin to shoot up. Usually, you will be asked to take small doses of iodine if iodine deficiency is the cause of goiter. Radioactive iodine may be taken in required amounts to shrinking the thyroid glands.
The treatments for all kinds of thyroid disorders usually overlap as goiter is often a symptom of hyperthyroidism. Goiter, if left untreated can cause severe complications. These complications may include difficulty in breathing and swallowing which might even turn up to be life-threatening.
Thyroid nodules are growths that are formed on or inside of the thyroid gland. The causes for the formation of these nodules are not always known but are assumed to be a result of iodine deficiency or Hashimoto’s disease. These nodules can be solid or fluid-filled and may be cancerous in very rare cases. Like other thyroid disorders, nodules are more common in women than in men and affect both sexes at equal chances above 40 years of age.
As in other thyroid disorders, there will not be any symptoms in the initial stages of nodules. However, there will be some noticeable symptoms if nodules grow bigger. Some of the symptoms are listed below:
- Swelling in neck
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Severe pain
Some nodules will begin producing thyroid hormones which will drastically increase the number of hormones in the blood stream. When this happens, the condition becomes similar to that of hyperthyroidism. Some of the noticeable symptoms include:
- High pulse rate
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Clammy skin
If the nodules are associated with Hashimoto’s diseases then the symptoms are similar to hyperthyroidism. That includes:
- Dry skin
- Mild weight gain
- Dry or thinning hair
- Irregular menstruation
- Enlarged thyroid
- Intolerance to cold
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT OF THYROID NODULES
Most nodules can be detected during a physical examination. Some can be detected during a CT-Scan, or MRI scan. Once the nodules are detected, then the procedure is to check for the production of hormones. A fine needle is used to take a sample of cells from the nodules to see if the nodule is cancerous. Cancerous nodules are very rare and thyroid cancers aren’t very common. Removing the thyroid through surgery is the only treatment of choice. Sometimes a radiation therapy is used instead of a surgery. Chemotherapy may be required if the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
Make sure to discuss the diagnoses and treatment options with your doctor or ask a doctor at free doctor helpline.