Archive for December, 2010

About Narcolepsy and its symptoms

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness accompanied by a series of auxiliary symptoms, typically beginning in adolescence or young adulthood. Narcolepsy is believed to be caused by a deficiency of the brain chemical orexin A and B (also known as hypocretin 1 and 2). 90 % of patients that have narcolepsy with associated cataplexy have little or no orexin in the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid).

Symptoms
Narcolepsy is typically characterized by the following four symptoms with varying frequencies:

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Cataplexy which involves sudden and temporary loss of muscle tone often triggered by emotions such as laughter.

Hallucinations

Sleep paralysis

Gallstones Treatment

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Gallstones (often misspelled gall stones, or gall stone) are stones that form in the gall (bile). They have small sizes, usually size of a pea, but at times they can reach the size of a pebble too. These gallstones are usually found in the gall bladder or the bile duct connecting the gall bladder to the small intestine.Women are twice as likely as men to develop gallstones; the higher prevalence of gallstones in women is thought to be caused by multiple pregnancies, obesity, and rapid weight loss. High level of cholesterol in the bile results in the formation of cholesterol gallstones.
Other than this, factors like the frequency and efficiency of the gallbladder contraction along with infrequent and incomplete emptying of gall bladder may contribute in the formation of gallstones, as these factors if found results in the over-concentration of the bile.

Symptoms like a biliary colic attack, in which there is intense pain in the upper abdominal region, is experienced during gallstone problem. The person suffering from this may feel pain in back, between shoulder blades or under the right shoulder. Nausea and vomiting are also seen in such a condition.Other symptoms of gallstones include:
Abdominal bloating.
Recurring intolerance of fatty foods.
Colic.
Belching.
Gas.
Indigestion.

Cholecystectomy involves removal of the gallbladder surgically. It is the standard treatment for gallstones in the gallbladder. Surgery may be done through a large abdominal incision or laparoscopically through small punctures of the abdominal wall.

There are measures the patient can take to relieve the symptoms to include:

intake of only clear liquids to give the gallbladder a rest,

avoid fatty or greasy meals, and

take acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.) for pain.

How To Cure Narcolepsy

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Narcolepsy is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is the main symptom and is present in 100% of patients with narcolepsy. arcoleptics can fall asleep while working, cooking, or even driving. Narcolepsy affects about 1 in 2,000 people, and is thought to be a genetic disorder. Most people experience their first symptoms between the ages of 10 and 25.

The cause of narcolepsy is not known; however, scientists have made progress toward identifying genes strongly associated with the disorder. These genes control the production of chemicals in the brain that may signal sleep and awake cycles. This disease is caused by some disorder in that particular portion of the brain that controls sleep. The word has come from Greek word meaning a sudden seizure of sleep.

Symptoms

Narcolepsy is more of an embarrassing disease. A lot of social problems arise out of it, more than the physical ones. In general, EDS interferes with normal activities on a daily basis, whether or not a person with narcolepsy has sufficient sleep at night. If you have narcolepsy, you may have vivid dreams while falling asleep, waking up, or dozing. These dreams can feel very real. You may feel like you can see, hear, smell, and taste things. Rarely, people who fall asleep in the middle of an activity, such as eating, may continue that activity for a few seconds or minutes. This is called automatic behavior. During automatic behavior, you’re not aware of your actions, so you don’t do them well.

Treatment

Sleep hygiene is very important. For example, many people have an improvement in their symptoms if they maintain a regular sleep schedule, usually seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Scheduled naps during the day also help. One study suggested that the optimal sleep pattern is a combination of scheduled nighttime sleep (such as from 11:00 pm to 7:30 am) and two 15-minute naps.

Several specialized tests, which can be performed in a sleep disorders clinic or sleep lab, usually are required before a diagnosis can be established. Two tests that are considered essential in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).

Commonly prescribed drugs for narcolepsy are stimulants, antidepressants and sodium oxybate. All medications have side effects so talk with your doctor

How To Treat Lyme Disease

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Lyme disease is often associated with heavily wooded or grassy areas where mice and deer live. This disease is not contagious from an affected person to someone else. Lyme disease can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system. The number of cases of the disease in an area depends on the number of ticks present and how often the ticks are infected with the bacteria.

Lyme disease is spread by these ticks when they bite the skin, which permits the bacterium to infect the body. The bacteria have a complex life cycle, spending part of their life in the deer tick and part in some mammals such as mice and deer.

Symptoms
A circular rash, typically within 1-2 weeks of infection, often is the first sign of infection. The rash usually has a characteristic “bull’s-eye” appearance, with a central red spot surrounded by clear skin that is ringed by an expanding red rash. Along with the rash, a person may have flu-like symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. Left untreated, symptoms of the initial illness may go away on their own.

Treatment

Individuals should be educated to check themselves, very carefully, at the end of each day in tick-infested habitats, for ticks on their skin. Any ticks should be removed and discarded. Since I. scapularis must feed for 24-48 hours to transmit the disease, this will likely prevent most, if not all, Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be treated at all stages. The treatment differ somewhat for children and adults. In general, early Lyme disease in adults is treated with doxycycline 100 mg orally twice daily or amoxicillin 500 mg orally three times daily for 20 to 30 days. Doxycycline should not be used in children under age nine years or pregnant women. Other antibiotic choices include phenoxymethyl penicillin, tetracycline, cefuroxime axetil, erythromycin, or azithromycin, with the latter two considered to be second line choices.

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment for Lymphoma

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Hodgkin’s disease, the most common lymphoma, has special characteristics that distinguish it from the others. Often it is identified by the presence of a unique cell, called the Reed-Sternberg cell, in lymphatic tissue that has been surgically removed for biopsy.

Lymphoma is a form of Cancer that can affect the various sections of the lymphatic system however it is commonly the lymphocyte cells and the lymph glands that are the primary sites of Cancerous growth. The lymphatic system includes a network of thin tubes that branch, like blood vessels, into tissues throughout the body. Lymphatic vessels carry lymph, a colorless watery fluid that contains infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. Along this network of vessels are groups of small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen.
Other parts of the lymphatic system are the spleen, thymus, tonsils, and bone marrow. Lymphatic tissue also is found in other parts of the body, including the stomach, intestines, and skin.The cause of most Lymphomas is not known. Most are probably caused by mutations in certain genes, called oncogenes, which then allow normal cells to divide out of control.

Symptoms

Physicians often observe swollen lymph nodes during this time to see if they change in size following antibiotic treatment. There are a number of common signs and symptoms that are associated with Lymphoma however it must be pointed out that these symptoms can also be caused by numerous, less severe conditions and so anyone suffering with any of the following symptoms should not self-diagnose Lymphoma. If HD or NHL involves lymphatic tissue within the abdomen the belly may become swollen, and even resemble pregnancy in some female patients.

Treatment

Treatment for lymphoma depends on the type and stage. Factors such as age, overall health, and whether one has already been treated for lymphoma before are included in the treatment decision-making process.

Fortunately, many advances have been made in the treatment of both Hodgkin’s disease (HD) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in recent years. Over 75% of newly diagnosed HD patients are cured by the latest methods of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the survival statistics for NHL patients are improving. The decision of which treatment to pursue is made with the doctor (with input from other members of the care team) and family members, but the decision is ultimately the patient’s.

Treatment For Chicken Pox

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Chickenpox is a contagious disease and causes an itchy rash and blisters or red spots all over the body. It can spread easily from an infected person who coughs, sneezes as this disease is very contagious. This occurs in people whose immunity is very low.

Treatment for Chicken Pox

Chicken pox requires no medical treatment but medications are given to relieve the signs and symptoms. They include:

Painkillers may be administered by a doctor to reduce the symptoms like headache and body pains.
Children should not be given aspirin or any other medications that contains aspirin because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
Antihistamines may be used to control severe itching.
Antivirals which are often prescribed by a doctor is effective for chicken pox.
If a person suffers from fever, then give medications to reduce temperature.
Antibiotics may be administered for severe skin infections.

Treatment at Home
To ease the symptoms of chicken pox, follow these self care measures:

Soothing baths: Add finely-ground oatmeal like Aveeno as this improves the itching. Frequent baths with oatmeal is helpful in reducing the itching.One to half cup of baking soda can also be added to bath water to reduce the itching.
Lotions: Calamine lotion is very useful as this can be applied over the blisters to help dry them and soothe the skin.
Don’t scratch: Scratching can cause scarring and this can slow down the healing process and the sores can become infected. Trim his/her fingernails to lessen the damage.
Rest: Take plenty of bed rest as this can beat any type of infection.
Bland diet: Soft and bland diets can also be of great help if sores are present in the mouth. Spicy, hard, acidic or crunchy foods can cause irritation to the mouth.

Prevention of viral infection
The best way to prevent this illness is by vaccine. An infected person can spread the virus from 5 days before the rash develops until all lesions have crusted. The other ways of preventing this disorder include:

People suffering from this disease should remain at home until all the present lesions get crusted.
People should cover the rashes before leaving the house.
Wash hands thoroughly after touching the chickenpox rashes.
Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing with a handkerchief.
The chickenpox vaccine called the varivax is found to be very effective.
Maintain proper hygiene as this the simplest way of fighting any infection.

Home Remedies for Chicken Pox

Some of the simple home remedies include:

Brown Vinegar: Add ½ cup vinegar to lukewarm bath water as this reduces the irritation.
Marigold: Add 2 tbsp of marigold flowers and 1 tsp of hazel leaves in one cup of water and keep it overnight. Apply this mixture over the rash and this relieves itching.
Sandalwood oil: Apply the oil on the rashes till the lesions reduce as this helps prevent the scars from blemishing the skin.
Honey: Coat the affected area with honey as this relieves the irritation and heals the rash.
Soup: Carrot and coriander soup can be beneficial in the treatment of chickenpox.
Neem leaves: Take handful of neem leaves in your bath water as this provides heals the blisters and cures the irritation.
Vitamin E: Apply vitamin E oil over the rashes as it prevents itching and removes the scars quickly.
Tea: A tea made of basil, chamomile, marigold and lemon balm. Honey, cinnamon and lemon can be added to this tea. Drink this tea several times a day.
Take plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet as this helps in the healing process.

How To Treat Porphyrias

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Porphyrias are inherited or adquired diseases that result from an abnormal metabolism of heme biosynthesis pathway. The main causes are enzyme deficiencies that lead to heme pathways intermediates accumulation. Porphyrias are: Intermitent Acute Porphyria, Hereditary Coproporphyria, Variegate Porphyria and Porphyria Cutanea Tarda. It is important to recognize that the three most common types of porphyrias are Intermitent Acute Porphyria (IAP), Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT) and Protoporphyria (PP). Heme biosynthesis occurs almost entirely in the liver and bone marrow and is composed by eight reactions, each one of these being catalyzed by an especific enzyme. There are certain forms of Porphyria that are believed to be inherited from one of the parents. In some cases if both the parents are infected then there is a likelihood that one gene from each parent may be inherited and the infection / disorder is passed on. There is a high chance that the infection / disorder can be passed on to the children.

Although acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is the most common acute porphyria, it is still quite rare. It usually affects women between 20 and 40 years old and men between 30 and 50. Because patients with an acute attack of AIP can rapidly develop a life-threatening illness, physicians often recommend hospitalization.

Treatment For Porphyrias

Carbohydrate restriction should be avoided. Meals should provide adequate sources of complex carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels in reference ranges.

Women with acute porphyrias who experience cyclic attacks in the week prior to menstruation may benefit from suppression of ovulation by exogenous luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone agonist therapy

Mild attacks (those in which pain levels can be adequately addressed by standard doses of acetaminophen, aspirin, or codeine and in which vomiting does not develop) may remit over 1-2 days with conservative management. Any porphyrinogenic drug must be eliminated, and adequate fluid and carbohydrate intake must be ensured.

Treatment Of Zygomycosis

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Zygomycosis is often caused by common fungi which can be found in soil and decaying vegetation. While most individuals are exposed to the fungi on a regular basis those with immune disorders are more prone to an infection. As such, it usually infects those who are immunocompromised. It is caused by fungus from the orders Mucorales and Entomophthorales which are normally found in the soil and in decaying plant matter. The infection differs from mucormycosis which only involves the order Mucorales. Transmission is usually through the inhalation of spores. It is generally harmless to healthy individuals but can cause infection in patients who are immunocompromised or who have a serious chronic illness such as uncontrolled diabetes. The condition may affect the gastrointestinal tract or the skin. It usually begins in the nose and paranasal sinuses and is one of the most rapidly spreading fungal infections in humans.

Most persons who develop zygomycosis are immunocompromised, although 15-20% of patients have no evidence of any underlying condition at the time of the diagnosis. he most common risk factors include the following:
Stem cell transplantation
Poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, either type 1 or type 2
Hematologic malignancy (eg, leukemias, lymphomas)

Treatment Of Zygomycosis

Take aggressive surgical measures to débride affected tissue. Without early and aggressive therapy, zygomycosis is almost always fatal. In addition, lipid preparations cause milder renal insufficiency typically associated with amphotericin B. Although still investigational, combination therapy with lipid preparations of amphotericin B and G-CSF have been successful in several studies.
Take correct amount of hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis to improve outcome.
Take correct amount neutropenia with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to improve outcome.
Institute early and appropriate antifungal administration.
If possible, discontinue steroids or deferoxamine.