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Saturday, October 23, 2010

What causes prolapse of the Uterus ?

[Explained in Emedicinehealth.com's website]

Your Uterus (womb in which a fetus develops) is normally held in place inside your pelvis with various muscles, tissue, and ligaments. Sometimes-because of childbirth or difficult labor and delivery-these muscles weaken. As a woman ages and with a natural loss of the hormone estrogen, her uterus can collapse into the vaginal canal, causing the condition known as a prolapsed uterus.
  • Muscle weakness or relaxation may allow your uterus to sag or come completely out of your body in various stages :

    • First degree : The cervix droops into the vagina.

    • Second degree : The cervix sticks to the opening of the vagina.

    • Third degree : The cervix is outside the vagina.

    • Fourth degree : The entire uterus is outside the vagina. This condition is also called procidentia. This is caused by weakness in all of the supporting muscles.

  • Other conditions are usually associated with prolapsed uterus. They weaken the muscles that hold the uterus in place :

    • Cystocele: A herniation (or bulging) of the upper front vaginal wall where a part of bladder bulges into the vagina, which may lead to urinary frequency, urgency, retention, and incontinence.

    • Enterocele: The herniation of the upper rear vaginal wall where a small bowel portion bulges into the vagina. Standing leads to a pulling sensation and backache and is relieved when you lie down.

    • Rectocele: The herniation of the lower rear vaginal wall where the rectum bulges into the vagina. This makes bowel movements difficult to the point that you may need to push on the inside of your vagina to empty your bowel.

    Prolapsed Uterus Causes

    The following conditions can cause a prolapsed uterus :

  • Pregnancy/multiple childbirths with normal delivery through the vagina

  • Weakness in the pelvic muscles with advancing age

  • Weakening and loss of tissue tone after menopause and loss of natural estrogen

  • Conditions leading to increased pressure in the abdomen such as chronic cough (with bronchitis and asthma), straining (with constipation), pelvic tumors (rare), or an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen

  • Being overweight or obese and its additional strain on pelvic muscles

  • Radical surgery in the pelvic area leading to loss of external support
Other risk factors
  • Excess weight lifting

  • Caucasian women more commonly affected; African Americans and Asians affected less often

Prolapsed Uterus Symptoms

  • A feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvis (you may describe it as a feeling of sitting on a small ball)

  • Low back pain

  • Feeling that something is coming out of your vagina

  • Painful sexual intercourse

  • Difficulty with urination or moving your bowels

  • Difficulty walking

When to Seek Medical Care

Notify your health care provider if you experience any of the following symptoms :
  • You feel the cervix near the opening of the vaginal canal. Or you suffer persistent discomfort from urinary dribbling or the urge to have a bowel movement (rectal urgency).

  • You may not feel the cervix but just pressure in your vaginal canal and the feeling of something coming out of your vagina.

  • You have continuing low back pain with difficulty in walking, urination, and defecation.
Seek medical care immediately if you experience the following :
  • Obstruction or difficulty in urination and/or defecation

  • Complete uterine prolapse (your uterus comes out of your vagina)

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider can diagnose uterine prolapse with a medical history and physical examination of the pelvis.
  • The doctor may need to examine you in standing position as well as while you are lying down and ask you to cough or strain to increase the pressure in your abdomen.

  • Specific conditions, such as ureteral obstruction due to complete prolapse, may need an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) or renal sonography. Dye is injected into your vein, and a series of x-rays are taken to view its progress through your bladder.

  • Ultrasound may be used to rule out other pelvic problems. In this test, a wand is passed over your abdomen or inserted into your vagina to create images with sound waves.

Prolapsed Uterus Treatment

Treatment depends on how weak the supporting structures around your uterus havebecome.

Prevention

  • Reduce your weight.

  • Avoid constipation by eating a high-fiber diet.

  • Do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles.

  • Avoid heavy lifting or straining.
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[Alternative explanation by Medline Plus]

Uterine prolapse is falling or sliding of the uterus from its normal position in the pelvic cavity into the vaginal canal.

Causes

The uterus is held in position in the pelvis by muscles, special ligaments, and other tissue,. The uterus drops into the vaginal canal (prolapses) when these muscles and connective tissues weaken.

Uterine prolapse usually happens in women who have had one or more vaginal births. Normal aging and lack of estrogen hormone after menopause may also cause uterine prolapse, Chronic cough and obesity increase the pressure on the pelvic floor and may contribute to the prolapse.. Uterine prolapse can also be caused by a pelvic tumor, although this is rare.

Chronic constipation and the pushing associated with it can worsen uterine prolapse.

Symptoms

  • A feeling as if sitting on a small ball
  • Difficult or painful sexual intercourse
  • Frequent urination or a sudden, urgent need to empty the bladder
  • Low backache
  • Pain during intercouse
  • Protruding of the uterus and cervix through the vaginal opening
  • Repeated bladder infections
  • Sensation of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis
  • Vaginal bleeding or increased vaginal discharge
Many of the symptoms are worse when standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Exams and Tests
A pelvic examination performed while the woman is bearing down (as if trying to push out a baby) will show how far the uterus comes down.
  • Uterine prolapse is mild when the cervixcervix drops into the lower part of the vaginavagina.
  • Uterine prolapse is moderate when the cervix drops out of the vaginal opening.
The pelvic exam may reveal that the bladder, front wall of the vagina (cystocelecystocele), or rectum and back wall of the vagina (rectocele) are entering the vaginal area. The urethra and bladder may also be positioned lower in the pelvis than usual.
A mass may be noted on pelvic exam if a tumortumor is causing the prolapse (this is rare).

Treatment

Treatment is not necessary unless the symptoms are bothersome. Most women seek treatment by the time the uterus drops to the opening of the vagina.

Uterine prolapse can be treated with a vaginal pessary or surgery.


VAGINAL PESSARY

A vaginal pessary is a rubber or plastic donut-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina to hold the uterus in place. It may be a temporary or permanent form of treatment. Vaginal pessaries are fitted for each individual woman. Some pessaries are similar to a diaphragm device used for birth control. Many women can be taught how to insert, clean, and remove the pessary herself.

Pessaries may cause an irritating and abnormal smelling discharge, and they require periodic cleaning, sometimes done by the doctor or nurse. In some women, the pessary may rub on and irritate the vaginal wall ( mucosa)mucosa), and in some cases may damage the vagina. Some pessaries may interfere with normal sexual intercourse by limiting the depth of penetration.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

Weight loss is recommended in women with uterine prolapse who are obese.
Heavy lifting or straining should be avoided, because they can worsen symptoms.
Coughing can also make symptoms worse. Measures to treat and prevent chronic cough should be tried. If the cough is due to smoking, smoking cessation techniques are recommended.

SURGERY

Surgery should not be done until the prolapse symptoms are worse than the risks of having surgery. The specific type of surgery depends on :
  • Degree of prolapse
  • Desire for future pregnancies
  • Other medical conditions
  • The women's desire to retain vaginal function
  • The woman's age and general health
There are some surgical procedures that can be done without removing the uterus, such as a sacrospinous fixation . This procedure involves using nearby ligaments to support the uterus. Other procedures are available.

Often, a vaginal hysterectomyvaginal hysterectomy is used to correct uterine prolapse. Any sagging of the vaginal walls, urethra, bladder, or rectum can be surgically corrected at the same time.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most women with mild uterine prolapse do not have bothersome symptoms and don't need treatment.
Vaginal pessaries can be effective for many women with uterine prolapse.
Surgery usually provides excellent results, however, some women may require treatment again in the future.

Possible Complications

Ulceration and infection of the cervix and vaginal walls may occur in severe cases of uterine prolapse.
Urinary tract infectionsUrinary tract infections and other urinary symptoms may occur because of a cystocele. ConstipationConstipation and hemorrhoidshemorrhoids may occur because of a rectocele.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of uterine prolapse.

Prevention

Tightening the pelvic floor muscles using Kegel exercisesKegel exercises helps to strengthen the muscles and reduces the risk of uterine prolapse.

Estrogen therapy, either vaginal or oral, in postmenopausal women may help maintain connective tissue and muscle tone.

Causes of Pimples




The causes of pimples is generally similar to the reason people get acne. What causes pimples is usually related to the causes of acne too. Acne is a skin disease that affects the follicles or pores. Follicles cover most of the face and body. A follicle is a tiny skin duct under the skin that a single hair grows out of. Below the duct is a tiny gland that produces sebum, skin oil. This oil is necessary for healthy skin and hair.

What causes pimples is usually the skin below and around the follicles are constantly shedding and growing new skin. These dead skin cells can become excessive and clog up the pores. Contributing to this may be the overproduction of sebum, clogging the pores even more. Once the pores become clogged bacteria form causing a lesion or pimple.


There are several types of lesions. A comedo is a clogged pore. Excess oil mixed with dead skin cells under the surface form a plug. One type of comedo is a whitehead. A whitehead is formed when the clog plugs up the pore entirely forming a small bump with a white center. A blackhead is a clogged pore with a black center. The black center is not dirt but is cause by oxygen having been exposed to the pore because it had opened up slightly.

Papules or pustules are what people usually call pimples. These are raised red bumps because the clogged pores have become infected. The bacteria also cause swelling and bulging. If the pimple is filled with pus it is called a pustule. The pus can become yellow with infection.

Another of the causes of pimples can be over-washing. Over washing acne infected skin can actually produce more acne and more pimples. The skin will make more sebum, which in turn can make acne worse. Wash your face no more than twice a day using acne medications. Never pick or pop a pimple. This will cause the spread of more bacteria by pushing some bacteria deeper into the skin. This will make the pimple last longer and can also cause it to develop into a cyst. Once the pimple is open it is exposed to even more bacteria from the face and hands causing a bigger infection. This is what causes pimples to spread even more.




Sweating can cause acne to worsen. Pores can become blocked from excess sweat that cannot evaporate. Always take a shower after sweating and wear loose fitting clothing. Athletic equipment such as headbands, chin straps, pads and helmets may all trap sweat and contribute to the causes of pimples. Avoid wearing fabrics that don't breathe well such as nylon or spandex. Instead, wear cotton fabrics that help to wick sweat away from the skin.

What causes pimples in women is also their hormones. Hormones can cause the body to produce more sebum than usual. Women may notice that they have an acne outbreak near the time of their period. Hormones often fluctuate greatly during the teen years and often acne will go away once hormones settle down.

Some medications are also what causes pimples, as they can cause acne to flare up. Anti-depressants, steroids, epilepsy medication and some birth control pills can all contribute to acne. Never stop taking medication because of an acne breakout. Instead, talk with your doctor about it so he can adjust your medication or find other possible causes of pimples and acne.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Down Syndrome and its Causes ?

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[Extracted from the webpage of  "Downsyndrome.about.com"]

Down syndrome is caused by an extra number 21 chromosome. But what does this really mean ? To really understand what causes Down syndrome, you need to have a thorough understanding of what chromosomes are, and what they do.


Genetic Information

The easiest way to think of chromosomes is as packages of genetic information. The human body is made up of all different types of cells and inside each of these cells are our genes. Genes are the units of inheritance that are passed from one generation to another. They are located in every cell of our bodies and they provide the instructions for every structure and function of our body. Humans have about 25,000 different genes. Rather than having all 25,000 bouncing around inside cells individually, our genes are located or packaged on chromosomes rather like pearls on a necklace.

Genes

Genes are made of DNA which is a molecule made up of four different chemicals called bases, which are usually referred to by their initials - A for adenine, T for thymine, G for guanine and C for cytosine. These 4 bases make up the "genetic code" - a sort of hereditary alphabet. Genes are made up of small sections of DNA and these genes are located on chromosomes. If you think of bases as an alphabet, then genes can be thought of as sentences. Each sentence (or gene) provides a specific instruction for our bodies. One pair of genes might tell what color our eyes will be and another might tell how small our little finger should be! When scientists want to refer to all of our genes together, they call it a "genome".




Chromosomes
Chromosomes, as well as the genes located on them, come in pairs. Humans have a total of 46 chromosomes arranged into 23 pairs. The first 22 pairs of chromosomes are called "autosomes" and are numbered 1 to 22, from largest to smallest. The 23rd pair is called the "sex chromosomes" and consist of an X and a Y in males and two X chromosomes in females. Chromosomes can be seen under a microscope but the individual genes located on them cannot.

Trisomy

Most people have 46 chromosomes or 23 pairs of chromosomes. People with Down syndrome have an extra number 21 chromosome for a total of 47 chromosomes. This condition is also called “Trisomy 21.” Trisomy comes from the Latin word "tri" which means three and "some" which means body and refers to chromosomes. People with trisomy 21 have three bodies 21, or three number 21 chromosomes.
Because chromosomes are the packages of genetic information and contain all of our genes or instructions, people with Down syndrome actually have three copies of all of the genes located on chromosome 21. It is estimated that there are 400 genes on chromosome 21. So basically, people with Down syndrome have 400 extra instructions. While having extra instructions sounds like it should be a good thing, it is actually like adding extra ingredients to a recipe. You will still get the same basic dish (a human body) but the form and function is different.

Causes of Trisomy


Trisomy for a specific chromosome is the result of a misdivision in the sperm or the egg prior to conception. There is absolutely nothing that anyone can do to prevent a trisomy, and there is nothing that someone can do to cause a trisomy. It is an accidental occurrence that happens before conception in either the egg or the sperm. We do not know what causes a trisomy to occur.

Maternal Age

While trisomies can occur in people of any age, there is an association between a mother’s age and the chance to have a baby with a trisomy. An association is simply scientific term for a link. An association is not a cause. This is an important point, because people are often under the mistaken belief that maternal age causes Down syndrome. This is not true. We do not know what causes trisomies to occur. We simply know that as women get older, the risk for having a pregnancy with a trisomy increases.

While there is a link between maternal age and the occurrence of trisomies, most babies with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35. This is due to the fact that there are far more younger women having babies. In fact, 80% of babies born with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 and the average age of a mother of a baby with Down syndrome is 28 years. Overall, the likelihood of a woman under age 30 giving birth to a child with Down syndrome is less than 1:1000. The risk increases as a woman gets older, with an incidence of about 1:112 at 40 years of age. However, this is still less than 1%.

The bottom line is that we know that there a link or association between a mother’s age and the risk to have a child with a trisomy such as Down’s syndrome, but no one knows the specific cause of trisomies.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What is the Fig fruit and its benefits ?



The fig is believed to be indigenous to Western Asia and to have been distributed by man throughout the Mediterranean area. It has been cultivated for thousands of years, remnants of figs having been found in excavations of Neolithic sites traced to at least 5,000 B.C. As time went on, the fig-growing territory stretched from Afghanistan to southern Germany and the Canary Islands. Pliny was aware of 29 types. Figs were introduced into England some time between 1525 and 1548. It is not clear when the common fig entered China but by 1550 it was reliably reported to be in Chinese gardens. European types were taken to China, Japan, India, South Africa and Australia.


Some people peel the skin back from the stem end to expose the flesh for eating out of-hand. The more fastidious eater holds the fruit by the stem end, cuts the fruit into quarters from the apex, spreads the sections apart and lifts the flesh from the skin with a knife blade, discarding the stem and skin. Commercially, figs are peeled by immersion for 1 minute in boiling lye water or a boiling solution of sodium bicarbonate. In warm, humid climates, figs are generally eaten fresh and raw without peeling, and they are often served with cream and sugar. Peeled or unpeeled, the fruits may be merely stewed or cooked in various ways, as in pies, puddings, cakes, bread or other bakery products, or added to ice cream mix.

Home owners preserve the whole fruits in sugar sirup or prepare them as jam, marmalade, or paste. Fig paste (with added wheat and corn flour, whey, sirup, oils and other ingredients) forms the filling for the well known bakery product, "Fig Newton". The fruits are sometimes candied whole commercially. In Europe; western Asia, northern Africa and California, commercial canning and drying of figs are industries of great importance.
Processed figs are made into pies, pudding, cakes, other bakery products, jams, jellies and preserves. Fig paste is a mixture of figs, wheat and corn flour, whey, syrup, oils, and other ingredients

Dried Figs :
Water (%) ........................................ 23
Calories ............................................ 274
Protein (%) ...................................... 4.3
Fat (%) ............................................. 1.3
Carbohydrates (%) ........................ 69
Crude Fiber (%) .............................. 5.8 (high for fruit)

% of US RDA*

Vitamin A ......................................... 1.6
Thiamin, B1 ...................................... 7.1
Riboflavin, B2 .................................. 6.2
Niacin ................................................ 3.9
Vitamic C .......................................... 0
Calcium ............................................. 15.8
Phosphorus ..................................... 9.6
Iron ................................................... 30
Sodium ............................................. 0.8
Potassium ........................................ 14
In internal use, Fig have been used to fight constipation, bronchitis and because of its edible properties. In external use, latex is applied on warts to get rid of them.

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The health benefits of figs or anjeer include treatment of sexual weakness, constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It also helps in gaining weight after illness.

Figs are seasonal fruits that are found in the western parts of Asia. However, dried figs are always available. The figs tree is a member of mulberry family.

Health benefits of figs can be attributed to the presence of minerals and vitamins in them. Figs contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, potassium and chlorine.

A few of its health benefits include :
  • Prevent constipation: There are 5 grams of fiber per three-fig serving. So, it helps in healthy bowel function and prevents constipation.
  • Helps to reduce weight: The fiber in figs also helps to reduce weight and is recommended for obese people.
  • Lower cholesterol: Figs contain Pectin, a soluble fiber. When fiber goes through the digestive system, it mops up globes of cholesterol and carries them out of body.
  • Prevent coronary heart disease: Dried figs contain phenol, Omega-3 and Omega-6. These fatty acids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Prevent colon cancer: The presence of fiber helps to mop up and usher out cancer causing substances.
  • Protection against post-menopausal breast cancer: Fiber content in figs give protection against breast cancer.
  • Good for diabetic patients: The American Diabetes Association recommends figs for a high fiber treat. Fig leaves reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetic patients who have to take insulin injection. Fig is rich in Potassium. Potassium helps to control blood sugar. Fig leaves have anti-diabetic properties
  • Prevention of hypertension: People used to take more sodium in the form of salt. Low potassium and high sodium level may lead to hypertension. Figs are high in potassium but low in sodium. So, it helps to avoid hypertension.
  • Strengthens bones: Figs are rich in Calcium. Calcium helps to strengthen bones.
  • People having high calcium diet may be affected by increased urinary calcium loss. Potassium content in figs helps to avoid that.
  • Prevent macular degeneration: Vision loss in older people is due to macular degeneration. Fruits and figs generally are good for avoiding this condition.
  • Relief for throat: The high mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats.


Figs are quite useful in various respiratory disorders including whooping cough and asthma. Since they are also good for digestion, they help in treating constipation, indigestion, stomach ache, etc. Fig is also good for fever, earache, boils, abscesses, venereal diseases and is excellent for the liver. Fig is a highly alkaline food, therefore helps to regulate the pH of the body. Figs are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols. These are antioxidants, which prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Fig is known for its soothing and laxative properties. Figs are low in fat and sugar.

Figs are sweet and soft and their paste is used as a replacement for sugar. Processed figs are used to make pies, pudding, cakes, other bakery products, jam, jellies and preserves.

Precaution :

Taking too much fig can cause diarrhea. Dried figs are high in sugar and might cause tooth decay.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Introduction to High Cholestrol


This is a wonderful presentation comprising of 12 short and informative episodes, explaining in full details about High Cholestrol. Many people are still having doubts in what it is all about and my advice is, do not jump into any mean to treat your own problem. Always seek out expert advice from your own health service provider and you will be on the right path in enjoying a good and healthy lifestyle.

We are indeed greateful to these 02 experts who have spent precious time in compiling this programme for the benefit of EVERYONE !

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Friday, October 8, 2010

How safe is Lasik Eye Surgery ?

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Ever imagine, what modern technology can do, to resolve defects in such delicate organ of our body !

Although, many people have already undergone such surgery and enjoyed good vision (minus their spectacles), there is still a sizeable percentage of our world population, who are still hesitant in going for the same surgery. Majority have the phobia of unforeseen side-effects, such as surgical foul-ups, total blindness, or,  the thought of going through the scapel raises their goose-pimples.

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Nonetheless, following questions are still been asked everyday, for those who are yet to pick up their courage to lie on the operating table :

a) How safe is this latest technology in rectifying and correcting ones' vision ?

b) Will such vision correction, remains permanent, once it is completed ?

c) Has there been any foul-up by the doctor (s) attending to this surgery ?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What is TheraSphere ?

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TheraSphere is a new form of cancer treatment that directly treats tumors in the liver using small, radioactive glass beads, measuring one-third the diameter of a strand of human hair.

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During this procedure, the catheter is inserted into the femoral artery of the leg and is wound up into the hepatic artery, which is the major blood supply to the liver. The microspheres are then inserted into the catheter where they can enter the smaller blood vessels supplying the cancerous tumor, and block the flow of blood. It is here that the lodged microspheres emit radiation, killing the cancer cells in the tumor.

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Overall, TheraSphere can cause fewer and milder side effects than other current treatments and offers the convenience of outpatient therapy. TheraSphere may be coupled with chemotherapy to try to improve results. Hospitalization may be required if hepatic artery chemotherapy infusion or chemoembolization is used in addition to TheraSphere.