Monthly Archives: February 2011

Bornholm Disease

Alternative Name : Epidemic pleurodynia,Sylvest’s disease , epidemic benign dry pleurisy,Bamble disease, the devil’s grip, devil’s grippe, epidemic myalgia, epidemic pleurodynia, epidemic transient diaphragmatic spasm or The Grasp of the Phantom

Definition:
Bornholm disease is a temporary illness that is a result of virus infection. The disease features fever and intense abdominal and chest pains with headache. The chest pain is typically worsened by breathing or coughing. The illness usually lasts from 3 to 14 days.

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The most common virus causing Bornholm disease is an enterovirus called Coxsackie B.

Group B coxsackieviruses are transmitted from person to person by fecal-oral contamination or direct mouth to mouth contact. Other people become infected with the virus if they touch contaminated items then put their fingers in their mouth before washing them properly. Contaminated items can include soiled diapers, shared toys and toilets.

Bornholm disease is also called epidemic myalgia and pleurodynia (because of inflammation of the lining tissue of the lungs).

Epidemic pleurodynia is contagious and occurs in clusters, meaning many people in an area get it around the same time. Up to 90% of epidemics occur in the summer and early fall. The illness most commonly strikes people younger than age 30, although older people also may be affected.

Coxsackie B virus is spread by contact and epidemics usually occur during warm weather in temperate regions and at any time in the tropics. As is typical with this virus family, it is shed in large amounts in the feces of infected persons. The disease can be spread by sharing drink containers, and has been contracted by laboratory personnel working with the virus

The disease is named after the Danish island where the first documented cases arose.

In 1872, Daae-Finsen reported an epidemic of “acute muscular rheumatism” occurring in a community called Bamble, giving rise to the name “Bamble disease” in Norway. Subsequent reports, published only in Norwegian, referred to the disease by this name. In 1933, Ejnar Sylvest gave a doctoral thesis describing a Danish outbreak of this disease on Bornholm Island entitled, “Bornholm disease-myalgia epidemica”, and this name has persisted

Symptoms:
The sudden onset of fever and pain occurs about four days after infection. Flu-like symptoms may be experienced during this incubation period.

There is pain in the chest or upper abdomen, usually on one side. It varies in intensity, but is often described as stabbing, or ‘grip-like’. The pain is spasmodic, lasting for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Coughing, sneezing and sudden movements can make it worse.

The symptoms usually last about one to two days in children and about two to six days in adults. Sometimes, the pain and fever return after a day or two.

On rare occasions, there are several recurrences of pain and fever over a period of three weeks or more.

Complications are rare, but include inflammation of the testes (orchitis) or the heart (pericarditis, myocarditis), and meningitis.

Cause:
Inoculation of throat washings taken from people with Bornholm disease into the brains of newborn mice revealed that enteroviruses in the Coxsackie B virus group were likely to be the cause of Bornholm disease, and those findings were supported by subsequent studies of IgM antibody responses measured in serum from people with Bornholm disease. Other viruses in the enterovirus family, including echovirus and Coxsackie A virus, are infrequently associated with Bornholm disease.

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Group B coxsackieviruses are transmitted from person to person by fecal-oral contamination or direct mouth to mouth contact. Other people become infected with the virus if they touch contaminated items then put their fingers in their mouth before washing them properly. Contaminated items can include soiled diapers, shared toys and toilets.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis is commonly simplified in an epidemic, although different causes of acute chest and abdominal pain must be excepted. Your doctor may push on muscles in your chest to notice if the pressure actuate a spasm of pain. Often, your doctor can examine the difficulty without any specific tests, particularly if there is an outbreak of the disease in your area. The infection from time to time disperse to cause inflammation in other organs, including the pleura (membrane surrounding the lungs), lungs, heart, liver, brain and testes.

Treatment :
The illness lasts about a week and is rarely fatal. Treatment includes the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents or the application of heat to the affected muscles. Relapses during the weeks following the initial episode are a characteristic feature of this disease.Painkillers and drugs can be used to reduce the fever.

The best treatment of Bornholm Disease is terminate bed rest, and fever and pain can be decreased by paracetamol for children or aspirin for adults. Recovery in uncomplicated cases is commonly finish within a week. Here is the list of several of the preclusion tips or tips for treating Bornholm Disease:

*People of any age may be involved although it frequently pretend people under the age of 30.
*Intravenous immune globulin may be utilised to treat newborns and those with a decreased immune system.

Prognosis:
Almost all generally healthy individuals recover completely from pleurodynia. However, about 5% of people develop acute viral meningitis as a complication of the coxsackievirus infection, and about 5% of adult males develop orchitis. Less common complications include hepatitis, pericarditis and myocarditis.

Prevention:
The viruses that cause epidemic pleurodynia can spread very easily among young children, who tend to put toys or fingers into their mouth. The disease is most likely to spread in day care centers. The best way to prevent infection is to wash hands thoroughly, especially before meals or after changing a diaper or using the bathroom. There is no vaccine to prevent pleurodynia.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bornholmdisease1.shtml

http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtPrint/WSIHW000/9339/24698.html?hide=t&k=basePrint

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bornholm_disease

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2914192/what_is_bornholm_disease.html

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Coxsackie-Virus-Infection.htm

http://www.health-issues.org/rare-diseases/bornholm-disease.htm

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Help, I Can’t Breathe…

More and more people today are complaining thus, be it summer, monsoon or winter. And it’s not surprising ; the global incidence of asthma is steadily rising. In India, between 5 and 25 per cent of the population is affected. The wide variation is because statistics are difficult to come by. There is very little unbiased documentation about the true incidence of asthma using instruments and lung function tests.

Asthma — now called reactive airways disease — tends to run in families prone to allergy. Some members wheeze, some sneeze while others may have itchy, red skin lesions. Wheezing may be present all the year round with varying degrees of severity. Attacks may also come and go, precipitated by cigarette smoke, chemicals in the air (mosquito repellents, room fresheners), infections (particularly viral), medication (aspirin, ibubrufen) or food additives (dyes, preservatives), with symptom-free intervals.

Air enters the body through the main air vessels — the bronchi, which branch out into the lungs as bronchioles. If they are irritated, they secrete mucous which narrows them. In normal people, the bronchioles relax when this occurs so a slight cough expels the obstructing plugs of mucous. In allergic people, the bronchioles constrict further, trapping the mucous and causing a feeling of suffocation.

Symptoms usually start with a tight feeling around the chest and a cough. But there is no sputum, the cough is ineffective and fails to relieve the feeling of breathlessness and suffocation. More severe, hacking and ineffective cough then sets in.

Doctors do not like to tell a patient or a parent that there is “wheezing” — the latter tend to equate it with asthma and fear chronic lifetime debility. Others confuse it with tuberculosis or primary complex. Neither is true. Wheezing is treatable and the person can lead a normal life.

The mainstay of treatment is bronchodilators, which open up the narrowed bronchi. If a direct delivery system is used, the drug goes straight into the lungs. Nebulisers, inhalers and rotahalors are freely available and efficient. Nebulisers require electricity to work and are not portable. Inhalers and rotahalors can be carried around. Inhalers, unlike rotahalors, require a certain amount of breathing co-ordination to be affective. In young children and the elderly, they become efficient only when combined with a spacer and facemask.

For an acute attack, salbutamol is usually sufficient. If there are repeated attacks, interfering with sleep at night, long-term treatment is needed. There are long-acting medications like salmeterol. When delivered to the lungs, it opens up the airways. This must be combined with a steroid like fluticosone. It prevents the local inflammatory reaction, decreases mucous secretion and helps keep the airways open.

Tablets and syrups do work eventually to control wheezing. They need to reach the stomach, get absorbed, reach the blood and eventually the lungs. They are more likely to produce side effects like nausea, vomiting and tremors. The onset of action is also slow.

Some lifestyle modifications may help to control the disease. Obesity contributes to the severity and frequency of attacks. The “pot belly” reduces the capacity of the lungs, as it tends to push them upwards. The BMI (body mass index) — weight divided by the height in metre squared — must be as close to 23 as possible.

Aerobic exercises like fast walking, jogging, swimming, skipping or stair climbing improve lung function and capacity.

Avoid known allergens that are likely to precipitate attacks. It may be airborne chemicals, like those in mosquito mats, coils and liquids. These should not be used anywhere in the house, as the smoke tends to permeate easily. Some allergens may be present in food or medication. If an attack seems to be precipitated by ingestion of a particular substance, it’s better to avoid it than search for a cure. Desensitisation is offered in some clinics but it’s a laborious and expensive process.

Stop smoking and as far as possible stay away from smokers.

People with reactive airways have poor breathing technique. This can be improved with exercises taught by physiotherapists and yoga teachers. Videos are available on the Internet. Proper breathing techniques go a long way towards improving lung capacity and reducing the duration, frequency and severity of attacks.

Hand-held devices called spirometers are available to measure the amount of air you breathe in and out. These are inexpensive. By documenting the readings daily, it is possible to anticipate an attack and take prophylactic action.

Always use the nebuliser, inhaler or rotahalor as directed. Sometimes a single dose at night may prevent lung damage and keep the lung capacity at a satisfactory level.

Source:The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Too Fat? Try Love

Oxytocin, also called the love hormone, plays an important role in keeping the body in shape. T.V. Jayan on a new study

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A hormone that induces love and trust in human beings may soon be drafted in the battle against the bulge. Nearly 60 years after it was first synthesised in the lab, oxytocin — which evokes a general feeling of contentment as well as triggers the let down of breast milk in nursing mothers — is found to have a role in helping maintain body weight and energy balance. The study closely follows another research which found that oxytocin stimulates the heart to beat more in sync with the breathing cycle in people with healthy social lives.

A neuromodulator, oxytocin has been in the news for both the right and wrong reasons. It’s no secret that it evokes maternal behaviour, epitomised by maternal love and trust. It also influences a number of other physiological and behavioural activities, including social bonding and sexual receptivity — a reason why it’s said to be abused by party animals. Molecules of this hormone are available as pills and recently, as a nasal spray too.

However, it’s for the first time that scientists conjured up a role for oxytocin in keeping the body in shape and through this, a strategy to ward off obesity. “It’s the first study to link oxytocin to body weight. We have demonstrated that defective oxytocin release in the brain can lead to weight gain and thus to obesity,” says Dongsheng Cai of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.

The study, that appeared recently in the journal Neuron, is significant also because it unravels the mechanism by which the hormone is released in the brain and why its production is stymied in those who indulge in a high-fat diet. Over-nutrition leads to compromised action of oxytocin in the brain, the scientists found.

Digging deep, the researchers identified a protein called synaptotagmin-4 that is directly responsible as it controls the release of oxytocin in the hypothalamus, a brain region that acts as the headquarters for maintaining the energy balance. Experimenting with lab mice, they found the rodents that were fed a high-fat diet had elevated levels of synaptotagmin-4 and this inhibited the release of oxytocin. And also that it further encouraged overeating and weight gain, resulting in obesity. On the other hand, when the protein production was genetically knocked off, the animals maintained a normal oxytocin release, despite the binge eating behaviour.

Cai and his team had been exploring for some time the role played by the brain in triggering obesity. In yet another path-breaking work in 2008, they had discovered a different message system in the brain that directly affects food intake and body weight. Their insightful study showed how seemingly harmless over nutrition in the early stages of development can trigger an uncontrollable chain reaction. Too much energy consumption, they found, leads to what they call metabolic inflammation. Unlike classical inflammation typically observed in infections, injuries and diseases such as cancer, metabolic inflammation seen in obesity-related diseases is milder and has no overt symptoms. However, the brain reacts to it by marshalling the services of a protein complex, which is an important part of the body’s innate immunity. Once in action, it disrupts the function of the hypothalamus, the master regulator of appetite and energy balance.

Cai’s findings may emerge as an important tool in the big fight against obesity and related diseases such as diabetes and heart disorders. “We have discovered two new anti-obesity strategies,” he says. The scientist hopes that by controlling the production of synaptotagmin-4 or developing molecules with similar action as that of oxytocin, they might be able to find a medical solution to the epidemic.

“As a next stage, we will work to identify applicable approaches to block synaptotagmin-4 or enhance oxytocin release in the brain,” Cai told  the reporter of  The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

 

The ultimate control of appetite and obesity is through neurochemicals in the brain, says Anoop Misra, head of internal medicine at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi. “Several brain chemicals (such as neuropeptide Y) have been shown to control appetite, but their interactions with others — such as hormones released by taste sensation and in the stomach — make their manipulation difficult and complex. Oxytocin is yet another chemical which has shown promise in the appetite-satiety pathway, but human studies are needed to illustrate its definitive role,” he says.

While a successful oxytocin strategy may help fight obesity, and through that keep related heart complications at bay, a new study by a team of scientists from universities in Ohio and Chicago points out that oxytocin may not protect everyone from a heart failure. The research — led by Greg Norman, a psychologist at Ohio State University — found that socially active people have healthier heart functions when administered a nasal spray of oxytocin. It, however, failed to produce any beneficial effect in those who were stressed, aloof and lonely by nature. Stress and social isolation are reckoned to be cardiovascular risk factors comparable to smoking and obesity.

Call it an alpha-hypophamine or cuddle chemical, oxytocin is truly a hormone to be loved and trusted.

Source:The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Bone Cancer

Definition:
Cancer that starts in a bone is rare.Bone cancer can begin in any bone in the body, but it most commonly affects the long bones that make up the arms and legs.

Primary bone cancer is cancer that forms in cells of the bone. Some types of primary bone cancer are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and chondrosarcoma. Secondary bone cancer is cancer that spreads to the bone from another part of the body (such as the prostate, breast, or lung).

 

Some types of bone cancer occur primarily in children, while others affect mostly adults.

Bone cancer also doesn’t include blood cell cancers, such as multiple myeloma and leukemia, that begin in the bone marrow — the jelly-like material inside the bone where blood cells are made.

Symptoms:
The symptoms of bone cancer depend where the tumour grows (about half occur in or near the knee). By the time a lump or swelling is detectable, the cancer may have been present for some time. (Swelling and tenderness near the affected area)

Pain, especially at night, is a common problem and may cause a limp if the leg is affected, because weight-bearing is uncomfortable or the cancer interferes with the way the joints work.

There may also be generalised symptoms such as weight loss, sweats, fever and lethargy , tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes, bone cancer is discovered incidentally – when an x-ray is taken after an accident, for example – or occasionally when the bone breaks due to weakness caused by the cancer.

Weakened bones, sometimes leading to fractures.

Causes:
It’s not clear what causes most bone cancers. Doctors know bone cancer begins as an error in a cell’s DNA. The error tells the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These cells go on living, rather than dying at a set time. The accumulating mutated cells form a mass (tumor) that can invade nearby structures or spread to other areas of the body.

Unlike most cancers, bone cancer tends to affect the young. Osteosarcoma usually appears in children and young adults, while Ewing’s sarcoma is most common between the ages of 10 and 20.

Other risk factors include:

•Previous radiotherapy treatment, especially at a young age. Some chemotherapy drugs also increase the risk of osteosarcoma
•As many as one in eight people who develop a tumour of the eye will go on to develop an osteosarcoma, possibly because of a genetic susceptibility to both conditions and the additional effect of anti-cancer treatments
•Genetic conditions linked to bone tumours including Li-Fraumeni syndrome, HME, inherited breast cancer and congenital umbilical hernia (Ewing’s sarcoma is three times more common in children with this condition)
•Paget’s disease, a bone disease that generally occurs in older people and increases the risk of osteosarcoma, as does another bone condition called chondroma
•Bone cancer has often been linked to injuries to a limb, but it’s questionable and may simply be that the injury draws attention to a tumour that was already growing

Diagnosis:
Imaging tests :-
What imaging tests you undergo depends on your situation. Your doctor may recommend one or more imaging tests to evaluate the area of concern, including:

*Bone scan
*Computerized tomography (CT)
*Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
*Positron emission tomography (PET)
*X-ray
Removing a sample of tissue for laboratory testing
Your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove (biopsy) a sample of tissue from the tumor for laboratory testing. Testing can tell your doctor whether the tissue is cancerous and, if so, what type of cancer you have. Testing may also reveal the cancer’s grade, which helps doctors understand how aggressive the cancer may be.

Types of biopsy procedures used to diagnose bone cancer include:

*Inserting a needle through your skin and into a tumor. During a needle biopsy, your doctor inserts a thin needle through your skin and guides it into the tumor. The needle is used to remove small pieces of tissue from the tumor.

*Surgery to remove a tissue sample for testing. During a surgical biopsy, your doctor makes an incision through your skin and removes either the entire tumor (excisional biopsy) or a portion of the tumor (incisional biopsy).

Determining the type of biopsy you need and the particulars of how it should be performed requires careful planning by your medical team. Doctors need to perform the biopsy in a way that won’t interfere with future surgery to remove bone cancer. For this reason, ask your doctor for a referral to an appropriate surgeon before your biopsy.

Tests to determine the extent (stage) of the bone cancer
Once your doctor diagnoses your bone cancer, he or she works to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. The cancer’s stage guides your treatment options.

Stages of bone cancer include:

*Stage I. At this stage, bone cancer is limited to the bone and hasn’t spread to other areas of the body. After biopsy testing, cancer at this stage is considered low grade and is not considered aggressive.

*Stage II. This stage of bone cancer is limited to the bone and hasn’t spread to other areas of the body. But biopsy testing reveals the bone cancer is high grade and is considered aggressive.

*Stage III. At this stage, bone cancer occurs in two or more places on the same bone.

*Stage IV. This stage of bone cancer indicates that cancer has spread beyond the bone to other areas of the body, such as the brain, liver or lungs.

Treatment:
The treatment options for your bone cancer are based on the type of cancer you have, the stage of the cancer, how far it has spread, your overall health and your preferences. Bone cancer treatment typically involves surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of treatments.

Bone cancer that hasn’t spread outside the bone may be treated with surgery and may not require chemotherapy. More abnormal bone cancer that has spread will be more difficult to treat, and chemotherapy as well as surgery is usually recommended.

In general, treatment of bone cancer has a good outlook, especially if it’s in the early stages and can be completed during surgery. About two-thirds of people with primary bone cancer can be cured. But if the cancer is more advanced or has spread, the prognosis may not be so good, with five-year survival rates of only 10-20 per cent. It’s vital that you talk to your specialist to get a picture of how successful treatment is likely to be in your individual case.

Treatment usually consists of surgery often combined with chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and make it less likely to recur. Because surgery involves removing bone, it can be quite drastic. Where possible, the surgeon will try to replace the diseased bone with a graft of bone from elsewhere in the body or an implant, but sometimes amputation is necessary.

Some bone cancers, such as Ewing’s sarcoma, respond well to chemotherapy and other treatments such as radiotherapy.

Newer biological therapies based on natural body chemicals such as interferon are also being used. These may work, for example, by encouraging the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. A number of different research trials are looking at different combinations of these treatments in an effort to improve results.

After initial treatment, regular follow-ups are essential to check for recurrences and to manage the consequences of treatment, such as the use of an artificial limb.

You may click to see:-
*Bone and Tissue Transplantation
*Bone Sarcoma in the Upper Extremity
*Ewing’s Family of Tumors (PDQ)…(Also available in Spanish)

*Osteosarcoma/Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone (PDQ) …..(Also available in Spanish)

*Surgical Management of Cancer that Spreads to the Bone

*Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

 

Prevention, Genetics, Causes:-
Information related to prevention, genetics, and risk factors:

Understanding Gene Testing

Search: Cancer Genetics Services Directory

Cancer Genetics Overview
[ health professional ]

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/cancer/typescancer_bone.shtml

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bone-cancer/DS00520/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/bone

http://bone-cancer-symptoms.org/

http://www.beltina.org/health-dictionary/bone-cancer-symptoms-prognosis-treatment-survival-rate-primary-metastatic.html

http://www.onlinecancerguide.com/blog/bone-cancer/pain-in-bones-fear-for-bone-cancer/

http://www.cancersymptomspage.com/bone-cancer-symptoms.html

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Body Oder

Definition & Causes:
Body odor, or B.O., bromhidrosis, osmidrosis and ozochrotia, is a perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids – some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it really is the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids.

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Body odor usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty – 14-16 years of age in females and 15-17 years of age in males. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to having body odor…

People who sweat too much – those with hyperhidrosis – may also be susceptible to body odor, however, often the salt level of their sweat is too high for the bacteria to break down – it depends where the excess sweating is occurring and which type of sweat glands are involved.

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.Body odour is caused by a natural process involving sweat that occurs on the skin’s surface. Sweat is odourless, but if left on the skin the bacteria that normally live there feed on it and break it down. This process releases chemicals that cause the unpleasant smell.

Some areas of the skin, such as the armpits and genitals, are more likely to produce body odour because these glands produce proteins and oily substances that bacteria feed on.

The feet produce their own characteristic odour. We tend to wrap them in socks and shoes, making them hot and humid and allowing fungi, as well as bacteria, to flourish.

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary:
Bromhidrosis (or bromidrosis) is a “fetid or foul-smelling perspiration. Apocrine bromhidrosis affects the axillae after puberty, and eccrine bromhidrosis is generalized, with excessive sweating.”

Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans; it is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and what they do (break sweat down into acids) that eventually causes the unpleasant smell. The smell is perceived as unpleasant, many believe, because most of us have been brought up to dislike it. Body odor is most likely to occur in our feet, groin, armpits, genitals, pubic hair and other hair, belly button, anus, behind the ears, and to some (lesser) extent on the rest of our skin.

Body odor can have a nice and specific smell to the individual, and can be used – especially by dogs and other animals – to identify people. Each person’s unique body odor can be influenced by diet, gender, health, and medication.

Two types of acid are commonly present when there is body odor:

*Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is commonly found in sweat – propionibacteria break amino acids down into propionic acid. Propionibacteria live in the ducts of the sebaceous glands of adult and adolescent humans. Some people may identify a vinegar-like smell with propionic acid, because it is similar to acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell.

*Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is another source of body odor as a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are also present in several strong cheese types.
Body odor can smell pleasant and specific to the individual and can be used to identify people, though this is more often done by dogs and other animals than by humans. An individual’s body odor is also influenced by diet, lifestyle, gender, genetics, health and medication.

Sweating and our sweat glands:-

The average human body has three to four million sweat glands, of which there are two types:

*Eccrine glands - a type of simple sweat gland that is located in almost all areas where there is skin. They produce sweat that reaches the skin’s surface via coiled ducts (tubes). When sweat evaporates from the skin the body is cooled. Eccrine glands are responsible for regulating our body’s temperature.

*Apocrine glands - these glands are found in the breasts, genital area, eyelids, armpits and ear. In the breasts they secrete fat droplets into breast milk. In the ear they help form earwax. Apocrine glands in skin and the eyelids are sweat glands.

Genetics:
Body odor is largely influenced by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. These are genetically determined and play an important role in immunity of the organism. The vomeronasal organ contains cells sensitive to MHC molecules in a genotype-specific way. Experiments on animals and volunteers have shown that potential sexual partners tend to be perceived more attractive if their MHC composition is substantially different. This behavior pattern promotes variability of the immune system of individuals in the population, thus making the population more robust against new diseases.

One study suggests that body odor is genetically determined by a gene that also codes the type of earwax one has. East Asians (those of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent) have the type of sweat glands that even after hitting puberty still don’t produce the chemicals found in the perspiration of other ancestral groups. East Asians evidently have a greater chance of having the ‘dry’ earwax type and reduced axial sweating and odor. This may be due to adaptation to colder climates.

Why  you should  be aware of it?
Medical research shows that people with body odour might suffer from severe problems in their personal and social relationships. It might also impact their work life — with colleagues and seniors avoiding them. They might not get full rewards of their hard work which in turn might wreck promotion prospects at work. For kids it might lead to educational under-achievement because of teasing and bullying along with enormous degrees of stress which is blamed for their frequent progression into alcoholism, excessive tobacco or drug use and in some cases to suicide.

Feelings of shame, embarrassment, low self-esteem, isolation, frustration, anxiety and depression are extremely common where body odour is present.

Although sufferers and their families have been shown to gain considerable benefit from sympathetic counseling, and while learning to deal with the stress this condition causes is certainly important – long-term strategies and approaches which deal with underlying causes of increased body odour are probably a lot more important.

It is important to know how to deal with the problem of body odour if you are suffering from it. If someone in your personal, social or professional circle suffers from body odour then there is a need to find out a way to address the issue mindfuly and delicately to avoid future embarassment to the person.

 

Symptoms:
The symptom is an unpleasant smell that may be worse in hot and sweaty conditions. The actual smell varies from person to person. The ‘recipe’ of sweat is individual.

Body odour may be influenced by diet. Certain foods, such as curry, garlic and strong spices, contain chemicals that may be excreted in the skin.

The smell almost always disappears with a shower or bath, but can return rapidly, especially if a person puts on unwashed clothes covered in old sweat and bacteria.

 

Diagnosis:
In the vast majority of cases of body odor it is not necessary to see your doctor. The individual himself/herself may be aware of it, or a good friend or a member of the household may tell them about their body odor. There are some self-care techniques that will usually successfully treat the problem.
Most people can easily recognise body odour. Unfortunately, the person who has it may be so accustomed to their own smell that they don’t notice.

When to see your doctor:
Some medical conditions may change how much a person sweats, while others can alter how we sweat, subsequently changing the way we smell. For example, hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid gland) or the menopause can make people sweat much more, while liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes can change the consistency of sweat so that the person smells differently. You should see your doctor if:

*You start sweating at night

*You start sweating much more than you normally do, without any logical reason

*You have cold sweats

*Sweating disrupts your daily routine

*You body smells differently – if it is a fruity smell it could be due to diabetes, liver or kidney disease often makes the individual have a bleach-like smell.

Treatment:
#.Armpits - a large concentration of apocrine glands exist in the armpits, making that area susceptible to rapid development of body odor.

*Keep the armpits clean – wash them regularly using anti-bacterial soap, and the number of bacteria will be kept low, resulting in less body odor.

*Hair under the armpits slows down the evaporation of sweat, giving the bacteria more time to break it down into smelly substances; shaving the armpits regularly has been found to help body odor control in that area.

*Deodorant or antiperspirant – deodorants make the skin more acidic, making the environment more difficult for bacteria to thrive. An antiperspirant blocks the sweating action of the glands, resulting in less sweating. Some studies, however, have indicated that antiperspirants may be linked to breast cancer or prostate cancer risk; this study suggests that the evidence is inconclusive either way.

*Botulinum toxin – this is a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum; it is the most poisonous biological substance known. However, very small and controlled doses are today being used in various fields of medicine. A relatively new treatment is available for individuals who sweat excessibely under the arms.

The patient is given approximately 12 injections of botulinum toxin in the armpits – a procedure that should not last more than 45 minutes. The toxin blocks the signals from the brain to the sweat glands, resulting in less sweating in the targeted area. One treatment can last from two to eight months. In countries where free universal healthcare is available, such as the NHS (National Health Service), UK, botulinum toxin therapy for excessive underarm sweating is not usually available and most patients will have to do it privately (pay for this specific treatment).

#.Wash daily with warm water – have a shower or bath at least once a day. Remember that warm water helps kill off bacteria that are present on your skin. If the weather is exceptionally hot, consider bathing more often than once a day.

#Clothing – natural fibers allow your skin to breathe, resulting in better evaporation of sweat. Natural-made fibers include wool, silk or cotton.

#Spicy foods - curry, garlic and some other spicy (piquant) foods have the potential to make some people’s sweat more pungent. Some experts believe a diet high in red meat may also raise the risk of developing more rapid body odor.

#Aluminum chloride - this substance is usually the main active ingredient in antiperspirants. If your body does not respond to the home remedies mentioned above, talk to a pharmacist or your doctor about a suitable product containing aluminum chloride. Follow the instructions given to you carefully.

#Treatment for smelly feet (bromodosis) - smelly feet are less of a problem socially than underarm B.O. because the unpleasant odor is usually contained by shoes and socks. However, the smell may become obvious if the person with smelly feet visits a home where shoes are taken off before entering, as is the custom in various countries and homes. The following steps may help control food odor:

*Wash your feet in warm water regularly – this means at least once a day. Remember that warm water is better at killing off bacteria than cold water. Tea-tree oil, when added to water, helps kill off bacteria (do not apply tea-tree oil directly to skin). Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly afterwards, including in between your toes.

*Socks – they must allow the sweat to evaporate. The best socks are those made of a combination of man-made fibers and wool. Wear a clean pair of socks each day.

*Shoes - if you wear trainers or shoes with plastic linings make sure it is not for long. A leather lining is better for sweat evaporation. If you have a problem with sweaty feet, do not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row – shoes do not completely dry overnight.

*Pumice stone – bacteria thrive on dead skin. If the soles of your feet have patches of dead skin remove them with a pumice stone.

*Deodorants and antiperspirants - ask your pharmacist for special foot deodorants and antiperspirants. If you have athlete’s foot you should not use deodorants or antiperspirants – treat the fungal infection first with appropriate medication.

*Go around barefoot – whenever you can walk around barefoot, or at least slip out of your shoes regularly.

You may click to learn more

You may click to see:
*Home Remedies for Body Odor
*7 Tips To Manage Body Odour
*Home Remedy for Body Odor & Herbal Care   :

 

 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bodyodour2.shtml

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173478.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_odor

http://www.copperwiki.org/images/c/c7/Odor.jpg

http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php/Body_Odour

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Blood Clots

Alternative Names: Clot; Emboli; Thrombi

Definition:
Blood is a liquid that flows within blood vessels. It is constantly in motion as the heart pumps blood through arteries to the different organs and cells of the body. The blood is returned back to the heart by the veins. Veins are squeezed when muscles in the body contract and push the blood back to the heart.

Blood clotting is an important mechanism to help the body repair injured blood vessels.

Blood consists of:

•red blood cells containing hemoglobin that carry oxygen to cells and remove carbon dioxide (the waste product of metabolism),

•white blood cells that fight infection,

•platelets that are part of the clotting process of the body, and

•blood plasma, which contains fluid, chemicals and proteins that are important for bodily functions.

Complex mechanisms exist in the bloodstream to form clots where they are needed. If the lining of the blood vessels becomes damaged, platelets are recruited to the injured area to form an initial plug. These activated platelets release chemicals that start the clotting cascade, using a series of clotting factors produced by the body. Ultimately, fibrin is formed, the protein that crosslinks with itself to form a mesh that makes up the final blood clot.

The medical term for a blood clot is a thrombus (plural= thrombi). When a thrombus is formed as part of a normal repair process of the body, there is little consequence. Unfortunately, there are times when a thrombus (blood clot) will form when it is not needed, and this can have potentially significant consequences.
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Thousands more people will have long term health problems as a result of a blood clot in the vein. Many of these people would have been completely unaware that they were at increased risk of venous thrombosis, so missing out on treatment which could be life saving.

Clots can form in any vein deep within the body, but most often can be found in the deep veins of the leg. These deep vein thromboses (DVT) form in the calf or lower leg, behind the knee, in the thigh or in the veins passing through the pelvis.
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Each year more than one in every thousand people in the UK develops a blood clot in a vein, known as a venous thrombosis. For as many as 25,000, the clot will prove fatal; more deaths than from breast cancer, HIV and road traffic accidents combined.

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Causes and risk factors:
There are several factors that significantly increase someone’s risk of developing a venous thrombosis:

•Slowing of blood flow through the veins, for example when someone is confined to bed by illness or to a chair on a long journey.
•Damage to the walls of the blood vessels, for example during surgery on the legs, hips or pelvis, or as a result of age-related changes.
•An increased tendency of the blood to clot, because of inherited problems with the blood’s clotting system, cancer, or the hormone changes of pregnancy (or the contraceptive pill).
You may click to see :Family history linked to increased blood clot risk

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Those particularly at risk include:

•The elderly – one in 100 over the age of 80 are at risk.
•Those who are immobile, because of illness, surgery or travel.
•People undergoing surgery on the hips and knees. More than half of those people having a total hip replacement will develop a DVT if not given preventative medicine.
•Heart attack or stroke patients.
•People with cancer, especially after surgery or if they’re having chemotherapy.
•Women during pregnancy, or if they’re using the contraceptive pill or HRT.
•Those with previous blood clotting problems (including inherited abnormalities of clotting which are much more common than most people realise).
•Smokers.
If the DVT damages the delicate valves which help keep blood flowing upwards towards the heart, a condition called post-phlebitic syndrome may develop (occurring in one in five after a DVT). As a result, blood pools in the lower leg, increasing pressure in the vessels, causing swelling of the leg and ankle and a heavy sensation, especially after walking or standing. Skin ulcers may also develop.
Symptoms:-
When the clot forms, it blocks the vein, preventing blood from draining from the limb as it should. The result is that the leg becomes swollen and painful, may change colour (turning pale, blue or reddish-purple) or the skin appears tight or shiny.

More worrying is the risk that part of the clot will break away, forming what is known as an embolus which travels around the circulation, through the heart and into the lungs where it blocks a blood vessel. This is known as a pulmonary embolus (PE) and estimates suggest that as many as 50 per cent of those with a DVT will go on to develop a PE.

The symptoms of PE include chest pain and shortness of breath, which may be sudden and severe. Although some people develop a PE without noticing any symptoms, it can be extremely dangerous and cause damage to the lung tissues proving fatal in as many as one in ten unless treated.

Long term complications include chronic pulmonary hypertension, where the pressure in the blood vessels of the lung remains persistently high.

Possible Complications:-
Thrombi and emboli can firmly attach to a blood vessel. They can partially or completely block the flow of blood in that vessel.

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A blockage in the blood vessel prevents normal blood flow and oxygen from reaching the tissues in that location. This is called ischemia. If ischemia is not treated promptly, it can result in tissue damage, or death of the tissues in that area.


Diagnosis
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Symptoms of a DVT or PE may be minimal and can often go undiagnosed. When suspected, it can be difficult to reach a definite diagnosis because tests aren’t straightforward and don’t always give a clear result.

Tests include:
•A blood test known as a D-dimer (although a negative result means that a clot is unlikely, a positive can occur in a number of other illnesses so it is not specific for a DVT or PE).
•An ultrasound scan (good for showing a clot behind the knee or in the thigh, but not so accurate for a DVT in the calf). A special type of ultrasound, known as Doppler ultrasound, is increasingly used and can show how fast the blood is flowing through the veins.
•An x-ray dye test known as a venogram (more invasive than ultrasound).
•MRI or CT scans.
•Ventilation/perfusion scan, where the parts of the lung being filled with air are compared with those with blood flowing through them.

Treatment and prevention:
Once a DVT or PE has been diagnosed, treatment is started to thin the blood (known as anticoagulant therapy), reducing the risk that the clot will grow or spread.

Immediate treatment is given in the form of injections of a drug called heparin, and warfarin tablets, which take several days to build effect. When the cause of the clot formation is clear, such as after surgery, treatment is continued for three months, but when there’s no obvious cause it may be continued for six months or even indefinitely.

The effects of warfarin can vary. Other illnesses and treatments, or even a change in diet, can interfere and it’s quite easy to become over – or under – coagulated, leading to a risk of either a haemorrhage or further clots. Those taking warfarin must have regular blood tests to monitor their clotting levels, and the dose of warfarin adjusted accordingly.

Newer drugs are being developed which are more consistent in their effect and which one day may replace warfarin.

When someone is known to be at risk of venous thrombosis, clots can be prevented by taking a few simple steps and giving small doses of anti-coagulant drugs.

Herbal Treatment:-There are certain proven herbal treatments for thrombosis. One of the most prominent herbal treatments for thrombosis is sweet potato. Scientifically it is called Ipomoea batatas. However in the US of A it is popularly known as Yam. This herbal fruit is an antioxidant. It is also abundant in Vitamin A and C.  This being the case it is very effective in treating thrombosis. Another very potent herbal treatment for thrombosis is lemon.  The imbibing of 300 ml of lemon juice for 2 months would lessen the symptoms of thrombosis. These herbal treatments have been tried with success by scores of people with success.

During long distance travel, or other periods of immobility, you should:

•Keep well hydrated
•Wear elastic compression stockings to support blood flow through the veins (it’s important that these are put on correctly)
•Take a little exercise at frequent intervals (if stuck in a seat, carry out simple leg exercises in the chair such as flexing your ankles).
Heparin treatment will reduce the risk of DVT following cancer treatment or hip or knee surgery by 70 per cent. People having major surgery have a 30 per cent risk of DVT which is reduced by about 60 per cent with anti-coagulants.

If you’re going into hospital for an operation or other treatment you should be assessed for your risk of developing a blood clot and in most cases will be offered preventative treatment with anti-coagulant injections. Compression stockings may also be used.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bloodclots1.shtml

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/deep-venous-thrombosis/overview.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/blood-clots/MY00109/DSECTION=causes

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001124.htm

http://www.herbalgranny.com/2009/08/24/herbal-treatment-for-thrombosis/

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Blepharospasm

Definition:
Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. BEB begins gradually with increased frequency of eye blinking often associated with eye irritation.

CLICK & SEE
click to see the picture
Benign means the condition is not life threatening. Essential indicates that the cause is unknown, but fatigue, stress, or an irritant are possible contributing factors. Symptoms sometimes last for a few days then disappear without treatment, but in most cases the twitching is chronic and persistent, causing lifelong challenges. The symptoms are often severe enough to result in functional blindness. The person’s eyelids feel like they are clamping shut and will not open without great effort. Patients have normal eyes, but for periods of time are effectively blind due to their inability to open their eyelids.

Although strides have recently been made in early diagnosis, blepharospasm is often initially mis-diagnosed as allergies or “dry eye syndrome“. It is a fairly rare disease, affecting only one in every 20,000 people in the United States.


Symptoms:

*Excessive blinking and spasming of the eyes, usually characterized by uncontrollable eyelid closure of durations longer than the typical blink reflex, sometimes lasting minutes or even hours.
click for the picture
*Uncontrollable contractions or twitches of the eye muscles and surrounding facial area. Some sufferers have twitching symptoms that radiate into the nose, face and sometimes, the neck area.

*Dryness of the eyes

*Sensitivity to the sun and bright light

click to see the picture
Causes:

Some causes of blepharospasm have been identified; however, the causes of many cases of blepharospasm remain unknown, although some educated guesses are being made. Some blepharospasm patients have a history of dry eyes and/or light sensitivity, but others report no previous eye problems before onset of initial symptoms.

Some drugs can induce blepharospasm, such as those used to treat Parkinson’s disease, as well as sensitivity to hormone treatments, including estrogen-replacement therapy for women going through menopause. Blepharospasm can also be a symptom of acute withdrawal from benzodiazepine dependence. In addition to blepharospasm being a benzodiazepine withdrawal symptom, prolonged use of benzodiazepines can induce blepharospasm and is a known risk factor for the development of blepharospasm.

Blepharospasm may also come from abnormal functioning of the brain basal ganglia. Simultaneous dry eye and dystonias such as Meige’s syndrome have been observed. Blepharospasms can be caused by concussions in some rare cases, when a blow to the back of the head damages the basal ganglia.

Blepharospasm often occurs out of the blue for no specific reason. Rarely, it can run in families.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of blepharospasm depends on recognition of its characteristic features by an expert, such as a neurologist or ophthalmologist. There are no medical tests for proving the diagnosis, but some tests may be conducted to rule out other possible problems. These may include tests for allergies or dry eyes or scans of the brain.


Treatment:

*Drug therapy: Drug therapy for blepharospasm has proved generally unpredictable and short-termed. Finding an effective regimen for any patient usually requires trial and error over time. In some cases a dietary supplement of magnesium chloride has been found effective.

*Botulinum toxin injections (Botox is a widely known example) have been used to induce localized, partial paralysis. Among most sufferers, botolinum toxin injection is the preferred treatment method.[3] Injections are generally administered every three months, with variations based on patient response and usually give almost immediate relief (though for some it may take more than a week) of symptoms from the muscle spasms. Most patients can resume a relatively normal life with regular Botulinum toxin treatments. A minority of sufferers develop minimal or no result from Botox injections and have to find other treatments. For some, Botulinum toxin diminishes in its effectiveness after many years of use. An observed side effect in a minority of patients is ptosis or eyelid droop. Attempts to inject in locations that minimize ptosis can result in diminished ability to control spasms.

*Surgery: Patients that do not respond well to medication or botulinum toxin injection are candidates for surgical therapy. The most effective surgical treatment has been protractor myectomy, the removal of muscles responsible for eyelid closure.

*Dark glasses are often worn because of sunlight sensitivity, as well as to hide the eyes from others.

*Stress management and support groups can help sufferers deal with the disease and prevent social isolation.

Prognosis:

With botulinum toxin treatment most individuals with BEB have substantial relief of symptoms. Although some may experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, and eye dryness, these side effects are usually only temporary.

Researches:
The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including BEB. Much of this research is aimed at increasing understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blepharospasm

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/blepharospasm/blepharospasm.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/blepharospasm1.shtml

http://www.nature.com/eye/journal/v18/n3/fig_tab/6700624f1.html

http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/File:Botwoman.jpg

http://rarediseasesnetwork.epi.usf.edu/dystonia/patients/learnmore/craniofacial/

http://www.graphicshunt.com/health/images/blepharospasm-608.htm

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Bladder stones

Alternative Names :Stones – bladder; Urinary tract stones; Bladder calculi

Definition:
Bladder stones are usually small masses of minerals that form in your bladder. Bladder stones develop when urine in your bladder becomes concentrated, causing minerals in your urine to crystallize. Concentrated, stagnant urine is often the result of not being able to completely empty your bladder. This may be due to an enlarged prostate, nerve damage or recurring urinary tract infections.

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Bladder stones are hard buildups of minerals that form in the urinary bladder. In most cases, these stones are made up of calcium. Stones are usually between 0.2cm and 2cm, but may be smaller or much larger.

Symptoms:

Symptoms occur when the stone irritates the lining of the bladder or obstructs the flow of urine from the bladder. Symptoms can include:

•Abdominal pain, pressure
•Abnormally colored or dark-colored urine
•Blood in the urine
•Difficulty urinating
•Frequent urge to urinate
•Inability to urinate except in certain positions
•Interruption of the urine stream
•Pain, discomfort in the penis
•Urinary tract infection
?Dysuria (painful urination)
?Fever
?Urinary urgency
Incontinence may also be associated with bladder stones.


Causes:

Bladder stones generally begin when your bladder doesn’t empty completely. The urine that’s left in your bladder can form crystals that eventually become bladder stones. In most cases, an underlying condition affects your bladder’s ability to empty completely.


The most common conditions that cause bladder stones include:

*Prostate gland enlargement. An enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can be a cause of bladder stones in men. As the prostate enlarges, it can compress the urethra and interrupt urine flow, causing urine to remain in your bladder.

*Damaged nerves (neurogenic bladder). Normally, nerves carry messages from your brain to your bladder muscles, directing your bladder muscles to tighten or release. If these nerves are damaged — from a stroke, spinal cord injury or other health problem — your bladder may not empty completely.

*Weakened bladder wall. Bladder diverticula are weakened areas in the bladder wall that bulge outward in pouches, and allow urine to collect.
Other conditions that can cause bladder stones include:

*Inflammation.
Bladder stones can develop if your bladder becomes inflamed. Urinary tract infections and radiation therapy to your pelvic area can both cause bladder inflammation.

*Medical devices.
Occasionally, catheters — slender tubes inserted through the urethra to help urine drain from your bladder — can cause bladder stones. So can objects that accidentally migrate to your bladder, such as a contraceptive device or stent. Mineral crystals, which later become stones, tend to form on the surface of these devices.

*Kidney stones. Stones that form in your kidneys are not the same as bladder stones. They develop in different ways and often for different reasons. But small kidney stones occasionally travel down the ureters into your bladder and if not expelled, can grow into bladder stones.

Diagnosis:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam.  He will likely feel your lower abdomen to see if your bladder is distended and, in some cases, perform a rectal exam to determine whether your prostate is enlarged. You may also discuss any urinary signs or symptoms that you’ve been having.

Tests used to make a diagnosis of bladder stones may include:

*Analysis of your urine (urinalysis). A sample of your urine may be collected and examined for microscopic amounts of blood, bacteria and crystallized minerals. A urinalysis is also helpful for determining whether you have a urinary tract infection, which can cause or be the result of bladder stones.

*Spiral computerized tomography (CT) scan.
A conventional CT scan combines multiple X-rays with computer technology to create cross-sectional images of your body rather than the overlapping images produced by regular X-rays. A spiral CT speeds up this process, scanning more quickly and with greater definition of internal structures. Spiral CTs can detect even very small stones and are considered one of the most sensitive tests for identifying all types of bladder stones.

*Ultrasound. An ultrasound, which bounces sound waves off organs and structures in your body to create pictures, can help your doctor detect bladder stones.

*X-ray. An X-ray of your kidneys, ureters and bladder helps your doctor determine whether stones are present in your urinary system. This is an inexpensive and easy test to obtain, but some types of stones aren’t visible on conventional X-rays.

*Special imaging of your urinary tract (intravenous pyelogram)
. An intravenous pyelogram is a test that uses a contrast material to highlight organs in your urinary tract. The material is injected into a vein in your arm and flows into your kidneys, ureters and bladder, outlining each of these organs. X-ray pictures are taken at specific time points during the procedure to check for stones. More recently, helical CT scans are generally done instead of an intravenous pyelogram.

Treatment:
Sometimes cystoscopy is performed to examine the inside of the bladder. During this process a fibre-optic camera, called a cystoscope, is inserted into the bladder via the urethra. Any bladder stones can usually be broken up during this procedure, and then washed out.

Stones can also be broken up into pieces small enough to allow them to pass out in the urine using a special type of ultrasound called lithotripsy. If the stones are too large to be removed by these methods, surgical removal becomes necessary.

Since bladder stones can often recur, it’s important to reduce the chances of this happening. This means drinking plenty of fluid every day, and ensuring that any underlying medical conditions, such as gout, are treated appropriately.

Alternative medicine:
For centuries, some people have tried to use herbs to treat and prevent stones that form in the kidneys and bladder. Traditional herbs for bladder stones include gravel root (also called kidney root, queen of the meadow and Joe Pye), stone root (also called citronella and colinsonia) and hydrangea (wild or mountain hydrangea).

These herbs are used alone or in various combinations and drunk as tea or taken in tincture form. Some herbal formulas add marshmallow (the plant, not the confection), which is said to coat the fragments so that they can be eliminated painlessly. No studies, however, have confirmed that herbs can break up bladder stones, which are extremely hard and usually require a laser, ultrasound or other procedure for removal.

For prevention, parsley leaf is reported to have a diuretic effect and may be helpful for preventing bladder stones.

You may click tro see :ABC Homeopathic Forum For Urine Bladder Stone

Always check with yourhealth care provider before taking any alternative medicine therapy to be sure it’s safe, and that it won’t adversely interact with other medications you’re taking.


Prognosis:

Most bladder stones are expelled or can be removed without permanent damage to the bladder. They may come back if the cause is not corrected.

If the stones are left untreated, they may cause repeated urinary tract infections or permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys.

Possible Complications:

•Acute bilateral obstructive uropathy
•Bladder cancer in severe, long-term cases
•Chronic bladder dysfunction (incontinence or urinary retention)
•Obstruction of the urethra
•Recurrence of stones
•Reflux nephropathy
•Urinary tract infection

Prevention:

Bladder stones usually result from an underlying condition that’s hard to prevent, but you can decrease your chance of developing bladder stones by following these tips:

*Ask about unusual urinary symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of an enlarged prostate or another urological condition may reduce your risk of developing bladder stones.

*Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking more fluids, especially water, may help prevent bladder stones because fluids dilute the concentration of minerals in your bladder. How much water you should drink depends on your age, size, health and level of activity. Ask your doctor what’s an appropriate amount of fluid for you.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001275.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bladder1.shtml

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bladder-stones/DS00904

http://modernmedicalguide.com/bladder-stones/

http://health.stateuniversity.com/pages/447/Cystoscopy.html

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Oil palm

Botanical Name :Elaeis guineensis
Family: Arecaceae – Palm family
Genus :Elaeis Jacq. – oil palm
Species: Elaeis guineensis Jacq. – African oil palm
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass : Arecidae
Order : Arecales
Common Name Oil Palm . The generic name is derived from the Greek for oil, elaion, while the species name refers to its country of origin.

Habitat
:Center of origin of the oil palm is in the tropical rain forest region of West Africa in a region about 200-300 km wide along coastal belt from Liberia to Angola. The palm has spread from 16°N latitude in Senegal to 15°S in Angola and eastwards to the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar and Malagasy. Now introduced and cultivated throughout the tropics between 16°N and S latitudes. Sometimes grown as an ornamental, as in southern Florida.

Description:
Mature trees are single-stemmed, and grow to 20 m tall. The leaves are pinnate, and reach between 3-5 m long. A young tree produces about 30 leaves a year. Established trees over 10 years produce about 20 leaves a year. The flowers are produced in dense clusters; each individual flower is small, with three sepals and three petals.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Tall palm is erect, heavy, trunks ringed; monoecious, male and female flowers in separate clusters, but on same tree; trunk to 20 m tall, usually less, 30 cm in diameter, leaf-bases adhere; petioles 1.3-2.3 m long, 12.5-20 cm wide, saw-toothed, broadened at base, fibrous, green; blade pinnate, 3.3-5 m long, with 100-150 pairs of leaflets; leaflets 60-120 cm long, 3.5-5 cm broad; central nerve very strong, especially at base, green on both surfaces; flower-stalks from lower leaf-axils, 10-30 cm long and broad; male flowers on short furry branches 10-15 cm long, set close to trunk on short pedicels; female flowers and consequently fruits in large clusters of 200-300, close to trunk on short heavy pedicels, each fruit plum-like, ovoid-oblong to 3.5 cm long and about 2 cm wide, black when ripe, red at base, with thick ivory-white flesh and small cavity in center; nuts encased in a fibrous covering which contains the oil. About 5 female inflorescences are produced per year; each inflorescence weighing about 8 kg, the fruits weighing about 3.5 g each.

Cultivation
In wild areas of West Africa the forest is often cleared to let 75 to 150 palms stand per hectare; this yields about 2.5 MT of bunches per hectare per year. Normally oil palms are propagated by seed. Seed germination and seedling establishment are difficult. Temperature of 35°.C stimulates germination in thin shelled varieties. Thick-walled varieties require higher temperatures. Seedlings are outplanted at about 18 months. In some places, seeds are harvested from the wild, but plantation culture is proving much more rewarding. In a plantation, trees are spaced 9 x 9 m, a 410-ha plantation would have about 50,000 trees, each averaging 5 bunches of fruit, each averaging 1 kg oil to yield a total of 250,000 kg oil for the 410 ha. Vegetative propagation is not feasible as tree has only one growing point. Because oil palm is monoecious, cross-pollination is general and the value of parent plants is determined by the performance of the progeny produced in such crosses. Bunch-yield and oil and kernel content of the bunches are used as criteria for selecting individual palms for breeding. Controlled pollination must be maintained when breeding from selected plants. Seed to be used for propagation should be harvested ripe. Best germination results by placing seeds about 0.6 cm deep in sand flats and covering them with sawdust. Flats kept fully exposed to sun and kept moist. In warm climates, 50% of seed will germinate in 8 weeks; in other areas it may take from 64-146 days. Sometimes the hard shell is ground down, or seeds are soaked in hot water for 2 weeks, or both, before planting. Plants grow slowly at first, being 6-8 years old before the pinnate leaves become normal size. When planting seedlings out in fields or forest, holes are dug, and area about 1 m around them cleared. Young plants should be transplanted at beginning of rainy season. In areas where there is no distinct dry season, as in Malaya, planting out may be done the year round, but is usually done during months with the highest rainfall. Seedlings or young plants, 12-18 months old, should be moved with a substantial ball of earth. Ammonium sulfate and sulfate or muriate of potash at rate of 227 g per palm should be applied in a ring about the plant at time of planting. Where magnesium may be deficient in the soil, 227 g Epsom salts or kieserite should be applied also. In many areas oil palms are intercropped with food plants, as maize, yams, bananas, cassava or cocoyams. In Africa, intercropping for up to 3 years has helped to produce early palm yields. Cover-crops are often planted, as mixtures of Calopogonium mucunoides, Centrosema pubescens and Pueraria phaseoloides, planted in proportion of 2:2:1 with seed rate of 5.5 kg/ha. Natural covers and planted cover crops can be controlled by slashing. Nitrogen dressings are important in early years. Chlorosis often occurs in nursery beds and in first few years after planting out. Adequate manure should be applied in these early years. When nitrogen fertilizers, as sulfate of ammonium are used, 0.22 kg per palm in the planting year and 0.45 kg per palm per year until age 4, should be sufficient. Potassium, magnesium, and trace element requirements should be determined by soil test and the proper fertilizer applied, according to the region, soil type and degree of deficiency.

Harvesting
First fruit bunches ripen in 3-4 years after planting in the field, but these may be small and of poor quality. Often these are eliminated by removal of the early female inflorescences. Bunches ripen 5-6 months after pollination. Bunches should be harvested at correct degree of ripeness, as under-ripe fruits have low oil concentration and over-ripe fruits have high fatty acid content. Harvesting is usually done once a week. In Africa, bunches of semi-wild trees are harvested with a cutlass, and tall palms are climbed by means of ladders and ropes. For the first few years of harvesting, bunches are cut with a steel chisel with a wooden handle about 90 cm long, allowing the peduncles to be cut without injuring the subtending leaf. Usually thereafter, an axe is used, or a curved knife attached to a bamboo pole. A man can harvest 100-150 bunches per day. Bunches are carried to transport centers and from there to the mill for oil extraction.

Chemical Constituents:
As oil is rich in carotene, it can be used in place of cod liver oil for correcting Vitamin A deficiency. Per 100 g, the fruit is reported to contain 540 calories, 26.2 g H2O, 1.9 g protein, 58.4 g fat, 12.5 g total carbohydrate, 3.2 g fiber, 1.0 g ash, 82 mg Ca, 47 mg P, 4.5 mg Fe, 42,420 ug ß-carotene equivalent, 0.20 mg thiamin, 0.10 mg riboflavin, 1.4 mg niacin, and 12 mg ascorbic acid. The oil contains, per 100 g, 878 calories, 0.5% H2O, 0.0% protein, 99.1% fat, 0.4 g total carbohydrate, 7 mg Ca, 8 mg P, 5.5 mg Fe, 27,280 ug ß-carotene equivalent, 0.03 mg riboflavin, and a trace of thiamine. The fatty composition of the oil is 0.5-5.9% myristic, 32.3-47.0 palmitic, 1.0-8.5 stearic, 39.8-52.4 oleic, and 2.0-11.3 linoleic. The component glycerides are oleodipalmitins (45%), palmitodioleins (30%), oleopalmatostearins (10%), linoleodioleins (6-8%), and fully saturated glycerides, tripalmatin and diapalmitostearin (6-8%).

Edible Uses:
Two kinds of oil are obtained from this palm, Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil. Palm oil is extracted from the fleshy mesocarp of the fruit which contains 45-55% oil which varies from light yellow to orange-red in color, and melts from 25° to 50°C. For edible fat manufacture, the oil is bleached. Palm oil contains saturated palmitic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid, giving it a higher unsaturated acid content than palm kernel or coconut oils. Palm oil is used for manufacture of soaps and candles, and more recently, in manufacture of margarine and cooking fats. Palm oil used extensively in tin plate industry, protecting cleaned iron surfaces before the tin is applied. Oil also used as lubricant, in textile and rubber industries. Palm kernel oil is extracted from the kernel of endosperm, and contains about 50% oil. Similar to coconut oil, with high content of saturated acids, mainly lauric, it is solid at normal temperatures in temperate areas, and is nearly colorless, varying from white to slightly yellow. This non-drying oil is used in edible fats, in making ice cream and mayonnaise, in baked goods and confectioneries, and in the manufacture of soaps and detergents. Press cake, after extraction of oil from the kernels, used as livestock feed, containing 5-8% oil. Palm wine made from the sap obtained by tapping the male inflorescence. The sap contains about 4.3 g/100 ml of sucrose and 3.4 g/100 ml of glucose. The sap ferments quickly, and is an important source of Vitamin B complex in diet of people of West Africa. A mean annual yield per hectare of 150 palms of 4,000 liters is obtained, and is double in value to the oil and kernels from same number of palms. Central shoot or cabbage is edible.

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine
According to Hartwell (1967-1971), the oil is used as a liniment for indolent tumors. Reported to be anodyne, antidotal, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and vulnerary, oil palm is a folk remedy for cancer, headaches, and rheumatism (Duke and Wain, 1981).

Other Uses:
Leaves used for thatching; petioles and rachices for fencing and for protecting the tops of retid walls. Refuse after stripping the bunches used for mulching and manuring; ash sometimes used in soap-making.

Palm biomass as fuel:
Some scientists and companies are going beyond using just the oil, and are proposing to convert fronds, empty fruit bunches and palm kernel shells harvested from oil palm plantations into renewable electricity, cellulosic ethanol, biogas, biohydrogen and bioplastic. Thus, by using both the biomass from the plantation as well as the processing residues from palm oil production (fibers, kernel shells, palm oil mill effluent), bioenergy from palm plantations can have an effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of these production techniques have been registered as projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

By using palm biomass to generate renewable energy, fuels and biodegradable products, both the energy balance and the greenhouse gas emissions balance for palm biodiesel is improved. For every tonne of palm oil produced from fresh fruit bunches, a farmer harvests around 6 tonnes of waste palm fronds, 1 tonne of palm trunks, 5 tonnes of empty fruit bunches, 1 tonne of press fiber (from the mesocarp of the fruit), half a tonne of palm kernel endocarp, 250 kg of palm kernel press cake, and 100 tonnes of palm oil mill effluent. Oil palm plantations incinerate biomass to generate power for palm oil mills. Oil palm plantations yield large amount of biomass that can be recycled into medium density fibreboards and light furniture. In efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scientists treat palm oil mill effluent to extract biogas. After purification, biogas can substitute for natural gas for use at factories. Anaerobic treatment of palm oil mill effluent, practiced in Malaysia and Indonesia, results in domination of Methanosaeta concilii. It plays an important role in methane production from acetate and the optimum condition for its growth should be considered to harvest biogas as renewable fuel.

Unfortunately, palm oil has detrimental effects on the environment and is not considered to be a sustainable biofuel. The deforestation occurring throughout Malaysia and Indonesia as a result of the growing demand for this plant has made scarce natural habitats for Orangutan and other rainforest dwellers. More carbon is released during the life cycle of a palm oil plant to its use as a biofuel than is emitted by the same volume of fossil fuels

Malayan folkculture:
Since the days when the ‘guineesis’ was first introduced by the British, Indian laborers were brought in to work the estates. It was there that Hindu beliefs mixed with the local Malay culture and started the usage of palm seeds by traditional healers suffixed with tok ‘bomoh’ or ‘pawang’ in the local language. It was found that every bunch of palm fruit usually bears a single ‘illustrious’ seed which looks like a shiny black pearl called ‘sbatmi’ in Tamil and ‘shakti’ in Malay. These are used as accessories by the ‘bomoh’ and ‘pawang’ in the mixed ritual for peace with nature as these are believed to contain mystical healing properties, and those wearing it are blessed by nature.

Modern usage has seen more common people keeping these as a charm/fashion item to feel at peace, owing to its use by celebrities. It must be noted that all palm seeds contain acid and these sbatmi are no different and should be handled with care. Sbatmi lost some popularity when it was used in a grisly ritual by Mona Fandey in 1993.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/elaeis_guineensis.html

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ELGU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_palm

Birthmarks

Definition:
Birthmarks are areas of discolored skin that are on a baby’s body at birth or that show up within a few months after delivery. Over 80 percent of babies have some kind of birthmark. Some endure for life, while others fade away over time.

click to see the pictures

Most birthmarks fall into one of two categories:

1.vascular  Vascular birthmarks are caused by blood vessels that have accumulated below the surface of the skin. They range in color from pink to red to bluish, depending on the depth of the blood vessels….click to see

2.Pigmented birthmarks — usually brown, gray, bluish, or black — result from an abnormal development of pigment cells…...click to see

Types:
A number of different types of birthmarks are known that include, but are not limited to, stork bites, Mongolian blue spots, strawberry marks, café au lait spots, congenital melanocytic nevi, and port-wine stains.

Café au lait spot:
While these birthmarks may occur anywhere on the body, they are most commonly oval in shape and light brown, or milk coffee, in color. These birthmarks may be present at birth, or appear in early childhood, and do not fade with age. One or two on an individual is common;however, four or more may be an indicator of neurofibromatosis.

.click to see

Congenital melanocytic nevus:
Congenital melanocytic nevus is a type of melanocytic nevus (or mole) found in infants at birth. Occurring in about 1% of infants in the United States, it is located in the area of the head and neck 15% of the time, but may occur anywhere on the body. It may appear as light brown in fair-skinned people, to almost black in darker-skinned people. Coming in a variety of sizes and appearances, they may be irregular in shape and flat, or raised and lumpy in appearance and feel.
..click to see
Mongolian blue spot:

A Mongolian blue spot is a benign flat congenital birthmark with wavy borders and irregular shape, most common among East Asians and Turks (excluding Turkish people), and named after Mongolians. It is also extremely prevalent among East Africans and Native Americans.  Authentic Mongolian blue spots do not disappear before puberty, and last well into adulthood. The most common color is blue, although they can be blue-gray, blue-black or even deep brown.
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Mongolian spot visible on six-month-old baby

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The Mongolian spot is a congenital developmental condition exclusively involving the skin. The blue colour is caused by melanocytes, melanin-containing cells, that are deep under the skin. Usually, as multiple spots or one large patch, it covers one or more of the lumbosacral area (lower back), the buttocks, flanks, and shoulders.  It results from the entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during their migration from the neural crest to the epidermis during embryonic development.

Among those who are not aware of the background of the Mongolian spots, it may sometimes be mistaken for a bruise indicative of child abuse

Port-wine stain, or Nevus flammeus:

Port-wine stains are present at birth and range from a pale pink in color, to a deep wine-red. Irregular in appearance, they are usually quite large, and caused by a deficiency or absence in the nerve supply to blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to dilate, and blood to pool or collect in the affected area. Over time, port-wine stains may become thick or develop small ridges or bumps, and do not fade with age. Such birthmarks may have emotional or social repercussions.
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.Port-wine stain visible on the head of Mikhail Gorbachev

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Port-wine stains occur in 0.3% of the population, equally among males and females. They frequently express unilaterally, i.e., on only one side, not crossing the midline of the body. Often on the face, marks on the upper eyelid or forehead may be indicative of a condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome. Additionally, port-wine stains in these locations may be associated with glaucoma and seizures.

Stork bite, or Telangiectatic nevus
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Colloquially called a “stork bite”, “angel’s kiss” or “salmon patch”, telangiectatic nevus appears as a pink or tanned, flat, irregularly-shaped mark on the knee, back of the neck, and/or the forehead, eyelids and, sometimes, the top lip. The skin is not thickened and feels no different from anywhere else on the body; the only difference remaining in appearance. Nearly half of all babies have such a birthmark

click to see

Causes:
The cause of birthmarks is not fully understood. Birthmarks are a benign overgrowth of blood vessels, or melanocytes, or smooth musle, or fat, or fibroblast or keratinocytes. They are thought to occur as a result of a localized imbalance in factors controlling the development and migration of skin cells.

Folklore:
Birthmarks are called voglie in Italian, antojos in Spanish, and wiham in Arabic; all of which translate to “wishes” because, according to folklore, they are caused by unsatisfied wishes of the mother during pregnancy. For example, if a pregnant woman does not satisfy a sudden wish or craving for strawberries, it’s said that the infant might bear a strawberry mark.

In Dutch, birthmarks are called moedervlekken, in Danish modermærke and in German Muttermal (mother-spots) because it was thought that an infant inherited the marks solely from the mother. The Hungarian word for any flat mole (as opposed to only congenital birthmarks), anyajegy, is also derived from this belief.

Some myths associated with birthmarks are that they are caused when an expectant mother sees something strange, or experiences a great deal of fear. You may click to see:Maternal impression for more information.

In Iranian folklore, a birth mark appears when the pregnant mother touches a part of her body during a solar eclipse.

Treatment:

Birthmarks are common in children, and most disappear within a few years without any need for treatment. Any attempt to remove them runs an unnecessary risk of complications or scarring.

Of course, if the mark is very conspicuous, and lasts into toddler years, they may become more aware of it. But, again, treatment may not be the best option. Instead, it’s usually better to simply play it down as far as possible, and make efforts to ensure everyone at home and school understands it’s quite normal, and will go away eventually.

While your child is still young, it’s important to check with your GP whether a birthmark is a port wine stain for two reasons:

•Sometimes a port wine stain can be one visible sign of a syndrome of different problems. For example, a port wine stain around the eye and side of the face can be linked to an abnormality of the blood vessels in the brain. This condition, called Sturge-Weber syndrome can lead to blindness and epilepsy. Port wine stains around the eyelids may also be linked to glaucoma and problems with the optic nerve. Further tests may be needed to check for these possibilities.

 

•Laser treatments, using a technique known as pulse dye laser or PDL, can be used to destroy the abnormal blood vessels and produce good results, with minimal scarring, but are best done while a child is still an infant, before the birthmark grows. The treatment is lengthy and expensive.

Cosmetic treatments, including skin creams which cover the mark.


Helping Kids Deal With Birthmarks

It can be a shock at first to see a birthmark on your newborn. Nobody is perfect, yet many people have an image of a perfect baby in their heads. If the birthmark is clearly visible, people might ask questions or stare, which can feel rude. It helps to have a simple explanation ready to handle intrusions like this. Most people mean no harm, but it’s also OK to let them know if they’ve gone too far.

Even at a young age, kids watch how their parents respond to situations like this. This is how they lean how to cope with others’ reactions. Talking simply and openly about a birthmark with kids makes them more likely to accept one as just another part of themselves, like hair color. And practice simple answers they can use when asked about it: “It’s just a birthmark. I was born with it.” It’s also important emotionally for kids to be around supportive family and friends who treat them normally.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/birthmarksstrawberrynaevi.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthmark

http://www.babycenter.com/0_birthmarks_75.bc

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body/birthmarks.html#

http://www.i-am-pregnant.com/Birth/Birth-defects/Port-Wine-Stain

http://www.newbornbabyzone.com/newborn/whats-that-birthmark-on-my-newborn-baby/

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-cafe-au-lait-spots

http://www.skincareguide.ca/glossary/c/congenital_melanocytic.html

http://worrybomb.com/2008/12/14/stork-mark/

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