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Symptoms – Piles

2012 February 29
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Symptoms
There are two types of Hemorrhoids namely Internal Hemorrhoids and External Hemorrhoids.

  • Internal Hemorrhoids

These are not visible as they are placed in the higher part of the anal area. Bleeding is the most common symptom of this type of Hemorrhoids. If the internal hemorrhoids are pushed out of the anus during straining due to bowel movement, it is called as prolapsed hemorrhoids. This condition is very painful and also it is difficult to push back it inside the rectal area.

  • External Hemorrhoids

External Hemorrhoids are visible as this happens outside the anal area. The veins present in the soft tissues are enlarged and are covered by skin. This type is normally without any symptoms and appears blue in color. However, when it is inflamed, bleeding and blood clots takes place inside the external hemorrhoids and these can  become very tender due to inflammation and appear red in color.

Introduction and Causes – Piles

2012 February 29
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Introduction

Hemorrhoids also commonly known as piles is a medical condition caused due to the swelling of the veins in the lower part of rectum and around the anus. This swelling causes discomfort when you sit down or while using the toilet. Though haemorrhoids are not life threatening, the itchiness, discomfort and bleeding caused are really annoying. Hemorrhoids are a very common problem faced by most of the Americans specifically at age between 45 to 65 years. Both men and women are prone to haemorrhoids with advancing age. Besides this, pregnancy and women who have had children are prone to this medical condition.

Causes of Piles

The foremost cause of Hemorrhoids is constipation especially excessive straining during bowel movement. Excess straining raises abdominal pressure resulting in swelling of the blood vessels around the rectum.
The other causes include:

  • Less intake of fibrous food
  • Prolonged sitting in the toilet with excess straining
  • Pelvic Tumors
  • Constant Coughing
  • Excessive Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Carrying objects which are heavy and
  • Genetic disposition.

Acne – Prevention and Remedies

2012 February 21
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Prevention

  • Eat healthy. Include fresh fruits and vegetables and anti-oxidants such as tomatoes in your diet.
  • Stay clean. Use a natural antibacterial, non-oily face wash/body wash. Those containing tea tree oil are a good option. Do not scrub your face, which can irritate the skin. The aim of washing is to remove dirt and oil from the pores.
  • If you have constipation, treat it immediately.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid chocolate, fried food, and refined sugar.
  • Take B-complex and zinc supplements daily to strengthen the skin’s resistance to acne.
  • Watch where you put your face: don’t place your cheek against things and surfaces that may carry infection, such as telephone receivers, window panes, used pillow cases etc.

Remedies

  • Do NOT squeeze or pop a pimple. Squeezing can push bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, leaving permanent scars.
  • Wash your face with warm salt water. This will get rid of the oil and dirt without irritating the acne.
  • Apply cucumber paste on your face. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • Aloe vera gel is an effective natural cure for acne. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
  • If you get a bad case of acne, see a dermatologist.

Types of acne

2012 February 21
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Types of acne

  • Whiteheads: Whiteheads are caused when a pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing a white appearance on the surface.
  • Blackheads: Blackheads result when a pore is only partially blocked, allowing some of the trapped sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells to slowly drain to the surface. The black color is caused by a reaction of the skin’s own pigment, melanin, reacting with the oxygen in the air.
  • Papules: Papules are inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head.
  • Pustules: A pustule is similar to a whitehead, but is inflamed, and appears as a red circle with a white or yellow center.
  • Severe acne vulgaris is characterized by nodules and cysts.
    • Nodules are large, hard bumps under the skin’s surface, and are prone to leaving behind scars.
    • An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled and painful.
  • Acne Rosacea can look similar to the acne vulgaris and is visible in patches.
  • Severe forms of acne include acne conglobata (large lesions) and pyoderma faciale (severe facial acne afflicting only females.

Acne – Introduction and Causes

2012 February 21
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by Neal

Introduction

The sudden onset of a ‘zit’ before a date is every teenager’s nightmare. Most teenagers – and a large percentage of adults – suffer from Acne Vulgaris, which can shows up as whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples on the face, neck, shoulders, back, and chest. A recent study conducted in the USA revealed that 17 million people suffer from acne, spawning a large market for anti-acne products.

Causes

Skin pores contain oil glands which keep the skin and hair lubricated. Sometimes, these sebaceous pores become clogged with excess oil and bacteria, resulting in acne. Broadly, the causes of acne may be the following:

  • Bacteria, which easily infects oil glands and pores
  • Wrong diet, irregular meals, excessive intake of starches, sugar, and fatty foods
  • Chronic constipation
  • Hormonal activity, particularly in teenagers
  • Incorrect use of cosmetics that clog the pores
  • Genes

Causes and treatment of Menstrual Abnormalities

2012 February 8
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Causes :-
Menstrual patterns can be influenced by changes in general health,, sudden weight loss or weight gain, stressful life situations, metabolic disorders, certain infections, and anatomical and hormonal changes.

Treatment depends on :-

  1. type of menstrual irregularity
  2. age and built of patient
  3. associated physical illness or other symptoms
  4. hormonal changes which can detected by blood testing
  5. desire for fertility or contraception
  6. anatomical abnormalities

Types of treatment :-

  1. lifestyle modifications
  2. exercises like yoga
  3. meditation practices to manage stress
  4. herbal supplements
  5. hormonal supplements
  6. surgical or interventional procedures

Since these problems may be long lasting and in many cases no obvious abnormalities are detected; it is better to start with treatment modalities that have few or no side effects and are simple to use.

Irregular Menstruation And Menstrual Abnormalities

2012 February 8
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Puberty and menopause mark the two ends of the spectrum of a woman’s reproductive life. Puberty is characterized by the onset of menstruation, development of breasts and appearance of secondary sex characteristics.
The age for onset of puberty may vary across individuals, yet the start of regular menstruation before 8 years of age or delay beyond 16 years of age requires medical advice.
Similarly, in the case of menopause, cessation of menstruation before 40 yrs of age or continuation after 53 years of age is unusual and a cause of medical attention. Both ends of the spectrum of a woman’s reproductive life are period of great hormonal, emotional as well as physical change.

Menstrual Irregularities

During the reproductive phase of a woman’s life, menstruation occurs every 21 days with bleeding lasting 5-7 days. In many cases the cycles tend to be erratic at puberty and menopause. Any cycle length in the range of 25-30 days is normal.

Menstrual irregularities can be:

  • Amenorrhoea – is the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age. It may be a situation wherein a girl does not start to menstruate at all or menstruation stops after a certain period of time.
  • Oligomenorrhea or Hypomenorrhea- The menstrual cycle is infrequent with intervals of more than 40 days or is extremely light and scanty.
  • Menorrhagia – Menstrual bleeding is abnormally heavy, clotted and prolonged although occuringat regular intervals. Women tend to get anemic in this condition.
  • Metrorrhagia – cycle length is shorter than 20 days it its often associated with Menorrhagia.
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding- bleeding occurs at irregular intervals in varying quantities and may last almost throughout the month.
  • PMS (Premenstrual syndrome)- It may vary from mild to extreme. It is associated with feeling of bloating, pain in the legs, headaches and mood swings. Symptoms of PMS can interfere with normal social life.
  • Dysmonhorrea- Although not to be confused with menstrual irregularities, it is a medical condition characterized by severe uterine pain during menstruation. In many cases the pain is so severe as to hamper even day to day activities requires and use of pain killers.

PCOS – Treatment

2011 September 16
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Treatments:-

Treatment for PCOS is aimed at restoring normal menstruation

cosmetic improvement

Preventing long term complications , and

assistance in conception if desired

The main modalities of treatment are – Decrease in weight

Oral contraceptive pills

Ovulation inducing agents

Anti-diabetic drugs like metformin

Anti-androgen drugs

Lifestyle modifications and herbal preparation

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

2011 September 6

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder affecting approximately 8 % of adult women. It is a metabolic disorder and a leading cause of infertility.

The major effect of PCOS is the change in insulin resistance wherein a high amounts of insulin is produced in response to food intake particularly carbohydrates and fat.

This is instrumental in increasing androgen production which results in hormonal imbalance and causes most of the symptoms mentioned below:-

Menstrual abnormalities – Decreased menstrual flow, delayed periods, secondary amenorrhea (absence of periods) and abnormal uterine bleeding in some cases.

Obesity – around half of the women with PCOS tend to be obese and find it difficult to reduce weight.

Infertility – It is a major cause of anovulation (failure to ovulate) and failure to conceive.

Hirsutism – Dark coarse hair over face and breast and in some cases thinning of scalp hair.

Acne – Some women have male pattern acne on the face and thickening of skin of the back.

Other symptoms – some cases also report increased testosterone levels and increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol.

PCOS has long term consequences also like Type 2 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia and Endometrial Hyperplasia.

All women with PCOS do not necessarily have ovarian cysts. A pelvic ultrasound is a major diagnostic tool, but not the only one. The Rotterdam criteria are also used to diagnose and confirm the syndrome.

Treatment Options – BPH

2011 August 25
by Neal

Treatment Options

Men who have BPH with symptoms usually need some kind of treatment at some time. However, a number of researchers suggest regular checkups to watch for early problems. If the condition begins to pose a danger to the patient’s health or causes a major inconvenience to him, treatment is usually recommended. Although the need for treatment is not usually urgent, doctors generally advise going ahead with treatment once the problems become bothersome or presents a health risk.

Types of treatment

The types of treatment that are most commonly used for BPH are:-

  1. Watchful Waiting
  2. Lifestyle changes which help in minimizing urinary problems
    • Do not hold back urine for long
    • Avoid rich and spicy food
    • Sit on a hard chair
    • Avoid very cold temperatures
    • Frequent intercourse is also beneficial
    • Emergency treatment for urinary retention
  3. Medications and Antibiotics for urinary infection and alpha blockers
  4. Anti DHT drugs which help in controlling growth of the prostate and sometimes shrink it
  5. Some poly herbal formulations like Prosteez can relieve symptoms and delay or mitigate the need for surgery
  6. Minimally invasive therapies like Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA), Water-induced thermotherapy, High-intensity focused ultrasound and prostate stents
  7. Surgical options:- Most doctors recommend removal of the enlarged part of the prostate as the best long-term solution for patients with BPH. This involves removing that part of prostatic tissue which is pressing on the urethra Most commonly this is done by trans urethral route[TURP] which is less traumatic than open surgery and recovery is faster
  8. It may take up to one year for complete recovery after prostate reduction procedures and since all of the tissue is not removed, some surveillance is required lifelong

Although BPH is the most common disorder of the prostate, other afflictions are acute or chronic prostatitis and prostate cancer.