Varicose veins

Definition:
Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That’s because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.

Varicose veins affect 1 out of 2 people over age 50. They are more common in women than men. Hemorrhoids are a type of varicose vein. Spider veins are like varicose veins, but they are smaller.

For many people, varicose veins and spider veins — a common, mild variation of varicose veins — are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more-serious problems. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems. Treatment may involve self-care measures or procedures by your doctor to close or remove veins.

Symptoms:
Varicose veins usually don’t cause any pain. Signs you may have varicose veins include:

*Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
*Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs
*Varicose veins may also form in other places on your legs, from your groin to your ankle.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
When painful signs and symptoms occur, they may include:

*An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
*Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
*Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
*Itching around one or more of your veins
Skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a severe form of vascular disease that requires medical attention . Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they’re smaller. Spider veins are found closer to the skin’s surface and are often red or blue. They occur on the legs, but can also be found on the face. Spider veins vary in size and often look like a spider’s web.

Diagnosis:Ultrasound – Venous (Extremities)

When to call health care provider
Self-care — such as exercise, elevating your legs or wearing compression stockings — can help you ease the pain of varicose veins and may prevent them from getting worse. But if you’re concerned about how your veins look and feel and self-care measures haven’t stopped your condition from getting worse, see your doctor.


Causes:
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Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your tissues. Veins return blood from the rest of your body to your heart, so the blood can be recirculated. To return blood to your heart, the veins in your legs must work against gravity. Muscle contractions in your lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to your heart. Tiny valves in your veins open as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop blood from flowing backward.

Causes of varicose veins can include:

*Age. As you get older, your veins can lose elasticity causing them to stretch. The valves in your veins may become weak, allowing blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward. Blood pools in your veins, and your veins enlarge and become varicose. The veins appear blue because they contain deoxygenated blood, which is in the process of being recirculated through the lungs.

*Pregnancy. Some pregnant women develop varicose veins. Pregnancy increases the volume of blood in your body, but decreases the flow of blood from your legs to your pelvis. This circulatory change is designed to support the growing fetus, but it can produce an unfortunate side effect — enlarged veins in your legs. Varicose veins may surface for the first time or may worsen during late pregnancy, when your uterus exerts greater pressure on the veins in your legs. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy also may play a role. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment within three months after delivery.

Risk factors:
These factors increase your risk of developing varicose veins:

*Your age. Varicose veins occur most often in people ages 30 to 70, with your risk increasing as you age. Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in your veins that help regulate blood flow. Eventually, that wear causes the valves to allow blood to flow back into your veins where it collects instead of flowing up to your heart.

*Your sex. Women are more likely to develop the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation or menopause may be a factor. Female hormones tend to relax vein walls. Taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills may increase your risk of varicose veins.

*Genetics. If other family members had varicose veins, there’s a greater chance you will too.

*Obesity. Being overweight puts added pressure on your veins.

*Standing for long periods of time. Your blood doesn’t flow as well if you’re in the same
position for long periods.

Complications:-
Complications of varicose veins, although rare, can include:
Ulcers. Extremely painful ulcers may form on the skin near varicose veins, particularly near the ankles. Ulcers are caused by long-term fluid buildup in these tissues, caused by increased pressure of blood within affected veins. A brown colored spot on the skin usually begins before an ulcer forms. See your doctor immediately if you suspect you’ve developed an ulcer.

Blood clots. Occasionally, veins deep within the legs become enlarged. In such cases, the affected leg may swell considerably. Any sudden leg swelling warrants urgent medical attention because it may indicate a blood clot — a condition known medically as
thrombophlebitis.

Treatment :
*Ambulatory Phlebectomy(American Society for Dermatologic Surgery)

*Sclerotherapy(American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

*Varicose Vein Treatment (Endovenous Ablation of Varicose Veins)(Radiological Society of North America)

*Vain Treatment: What to Expect Before, During, and After(American Academy of Dermatology)

Alternative Therapy :-
*Bilberry(National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
*Horse Chestnut(National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Click to learn more about Varicose veins

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.mayoclinic.com/health/varicose-veins/DS00256

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/varicoseveins.html

Venous Ultrasound of the Legs (Lower Extremity Doppler)

Definition:
This type of ultrasound shows if there is a blockage in a leg vein. Such blockages are usually caused by blood clots, which can be dangerous and even lifethreatening if they break loose and travel through the blood to the lungs. If you have pain or swelling in one leg, your doctor may order an ultrasound to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a blockage.

Click for the picture

The importance of the Venous Doppler examination of the lower extremities cannot be underestimated. Careful mapping of the lower extremity venous system prior to treatment is essential to a good clinical outcome. While many patients present with large, clinically obvious bulging varicose veins other individuals may have significant “silent” large vein disease (reflux), which can only be detected by Doppler vein mapping. Venous Doppler not only provides a detailed picture of your venous system, but can show abnormal direction blood flow (reflux) in diseased veins. Successful treatment of leg veins requires accurate diagnosis with treatment of abnormal large veins followed by touch-up treatment of smaller veins…………...click & see

An example of a Venous Doppler procedure is a scan which shows the vein with the blood flow direction indicated by the colored space inside the vein wall. The surrounding tissues look like images on weather radar. When the venous duplex test is performed, multiple pictures are taken to document the status of the vein and to select the optimal treatment plan for your veins. Venous Doppler is also performed at the time of Endovenous Laser Treatment as well as in follow up after EVLT

How to prepare for the test?
No preparation is necessary.

What happens when the test is performed?
After squirting some clear jelly onto the inside of one of your thighs to help the ultrasound sensor slide around easily, a technician or doctor places the sensor against your skin. Once it’s in place, an image appears on a video screen, and the technician or doctor moves the sensor up and down along your leg – from the groin to the calf – to view the veins from different angles. The examiner presses the sensor into your skin firmly every few inches to see if the veins change shape under pressure. He or she then checks your other leg in the same way. As the machine measures the blood flowing through a vein, it makes a swishing noise in time with the rhythm of your heartbeat. This test usually takes 15-30 minutes.Most people don’t feel any discomfort, but if your leg was swollen and sensitive to the touch before the test, the pressure of the sensor might cause some tenderness.

Risk Factors:
There are no risks.
Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Nothing.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
A radiologist reviews a videotape of your ultrasound and checks for signs of blockages in the veins.Your doctor should receive a report within a few hours to a day.

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/venous-ultrasound-of-the-legs.shtml

http://www.amarillovein.com/AboutUltrasound.php

Helancha(Enhydra fluctuans)

 
Botanical Name :Enhydra fluctuans Lour
Family: Asteraceae (family description)
Genus: Enhydra
Kingdom:
Plantae
Phylum:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order:
Asterales
Epithet: fluctuans Lour.
Common Names: Harkuch, Hingcha
Local names: kankong-kalabau (Tag.).

Indian Name: Helencha
Part used: Leaf
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales 
Species: E. fluctuans
Bengali Name:Hingcha  sag

Habitat:Grows in swampy ground in Tropical climate.Native to India, Bangladesh,Burma, Sreelankha and several places in south east Asia.Hingcha or Kankong-kalabau is found in Rizal Province in Luzon, being occasional along the banks of small streams in and about Manila. It was certainly introduced, being found also in tropical Africa and Asia to Malaya.In Bengal it is commonly known as Hingha and grows plenty in ponds & lakes.

Description & Uses :Perennial herb of swampy ground in coastal areas, till recently considered as a single species under the first name, but now recognized to be two: E. fluctuans only in the Niger Delta, but widespread in the tropics, and E. radicans from Senegal to Dahomey and Fernando Po.No usage of either species is recorded for the Region. The leaves of E. fluctuans are somewhat bitter and are eaten as a salad or vegetable in several tropical countries. In Zaïre E. fluctuans has been
reported a favourite food of the hippopotamus.

This plant is a prostate, spreading, annual herb. The stems are somewhat fleshy, 30 centimeters or more in length, branched, rooting at the lower nodes, and somewhat hairy. The leaves are stalkless, linear-oblong, 3 to 5 centimeters in length, pointed or blunt at the tip, usually truncate at the base, and somewhat toothed at the margins. The flowering heads are without stalks, are borne singly in the axils of the leaves, and excluding the bracts, are less than 1 centimeter in diameter. The outer pair of the involucral bracts is ovate and 1 to 1.2 centimeters long; the inner pair is somewhat smaller. The flowers are white or greenish-white. The acheness are enclosed by rigid receptacle-scales. The pappus is absent.Flower colour: beige, white

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Edible uses:
According to Burkill the young parts are used as a salad in several countries, including Malaya. Sometimes they are steamed before they are eaten.
Guerrero reports that in the Philippines the leaves are pressed and applied to the skin as a cure for certain herpetic eruptions.In bengal it is washed,chopped and cooked as Sag fry or boiled with rice and eaten with boiled rice with boiled potato ,salt and mastered oil.
Burkill reports that the young parts and the leaves of the plant are somewhat bitter and are used by the Malays as a laxative. Caius says that the leaves are useful in diseases of the skin and of the nervous system. The fresh juice of the leaves is prescribed in Calcutta as an adjunct to tonic metallic medicines, and is given in neuralgia and other nervous diseases. The leaves are antibilious. The expressed juice of the leaves is used as a demulcent in cases of gonorrhea; it is taken mixed with the milk of either a cow or a goat. As a cooling agent, the leaves are pounded and made into a paste which is applied cold to the head.
Watt quotes Forsyth, who states that the plant is useful in torpidity of the liver. An infusion should be made the previous evening. It is boiled with rice and taken with mustard oil and salt.

Constituents:A concentration of 0.21 % dry weight of essential oil is present .

Medicinal uses: laxatives, etc.; paralysis, epilepsy, convulsions, spasm; skin, mucosae.They are said to be a laxative, antibilious and demulcent . They are used in India in skin and nervous affections , and in the Philippines are applied to certain herpetic eruptions .
*Antioxidant Potential of Crude Extract and Different
Fractions of Enhydra fluctuans Lour (Hingcha)   :

*Analgesic activity of Enhydra fluctuans :

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.aluka.org/action/showMetadata?doi=10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.1_928&pgs=

http://www.fivetastes.com/vegetables/helencha.html

http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/pdf/k/kankong-kalabau.pdf
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.virboga.de/Enhydra_fluctuans.htm

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Kalmi (Ipomoea reptans)

N Ipoa D1600.
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Ipomoea reptans
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea subgenus: Eriospermum section: Erpipomoea
Vernacular names: Kangkong, kangkung, water convolvulus, water spinach, swamp spinach, swamp morning glory (En). Kangkong, liseron d’eau, patate aquatique (Fr). Cancon, batata aquática (Po). Mriba wa ziwa (Sw).

Habitat :Ipomoea aquatica is widespread as a swamp weed in all tropical and many subtropical lowland areas. It is a declared aquatic or terrestrial noxious weed in the south-eastern United States. It occurs in nearly all countries of tropical Africa, from Mauritania and Senegal, east to Eritrea and Somalia, and south to South Africa, and also in the Indian Ocean islands. It is a popular cultivated vegetable in South-East Asia and southern China, but is rare in India. It is known as a leafy vegetable in tropical America, where people of Asian origin cultivate it. It is grown on a small scale under protected cultivation in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands for Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian clients. In tropical Africa it is reported as a collected wild vegetable in Benin, DR Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. Asian cultivars are occasionally grown on a small scale for the Asian clientele near big cities. Kangkong can be found in market gardens, e.g. in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

DESCRIPTION: Water spinach is an herbaceous trailing vine that dwells in muddy stream banks, freshwater ponds, and marshes. This perennial aquatic vine is confined to the tropics and subtropics zones because it is susceptible to frosts and does not grow well when temperatures are below 23.9 C. Water spinach can reproduce sexually by producing one to four seeds in fruiting capsules or vegetatively by stem fragmentation. It is a member of the “morning-glory” family.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES..>….(01)...(1).....(2).…....(3).…..(4)....(5).
Flowers: Funnel shaped, solitary or in few flowered clusters at leaf axils, two inches wide, pink to white in color, and darker in the throat (rarely nearly white).

Leaves: Arrowhead shaped, alternate, one to six inches long, and one to three inches wide

Stems: Vine like, trailing, with milky sap and roots at the nodes; usually to 9 ft. long but can be much longer.

Fruit: An oval or spherical capsule, woody at maturity, 1 cm long, holding 1 to 4 grayish seeds.

History:
The first historical record of W ater spinach is of its cultivation as a vegetable during the Chin Dynasty around 300 A.D. Native to India and Southeast Asia, but widely cultivated and naturalized in Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Islands, and South America. This aquatic vine is rich in iron, making it an ancient remedy for anemia. So people emigrating from Asian regions understandably wanted to take this nutritious vegetable along for use in traditional recipes. It is unclear when this plant was introduced in the United States, but this invasive and aggressive plant poses a serious threat to waterways in the Southern United States. W ater spinach has been introduced repeatedly to Florida waters since 1973, despite its state and federal listing as a prohibited plant and noxious weed.

Uses:-
Young shoots and leaves of water spinach are collected for use as a leafy vegetable. Often the whole above-ground plant part of cultivated water spinach , including the tender hollow stems, is consumed. Water spinatch can be stir-fried, steamed, boiled for a few minutes or lightly fried in oil and eaten in various dishes. It is often mixed with hot peppers and garlic, and prepared with meat or fish. In Asia the leaves are sometimes separated from the stems, and the stems are cooked a bit longer. In Africa only the leaves of wild plants are consumed, the stems are removed. The roots are occasionally eaten. Wild kangkong is often collected as fodder for cattle and pigs.

In Indonesia, kangkong or water spinach  is traditionally given at dinner to young children to make them quiet and help them sleep well. In Asia it is used in traditional medicine. The sap is used as an emetic, purgative and sedative, and flower buds are applied to ringworm. In Sri Lanka kangkong is used to treat diabetes mellitus.

Properties:
The nutritional composition of raw kangkong per 100 g edible portion is: water 92.5 g, energy 80 kJ (19 kcal), protein 2.6 g, fat 0.2 g, carbohydrate 3.1 g, dietary fibre 2.1 g, Ca 77 mg, Mg 71 mg, P 39 mg, Fe 1.7 mg, Zn 0.2 mg, vitamin A 6300 IU, thiamin 0.03 mg, riboflavin 0.10 mg, niacin 0.90 mg, folate 57 ?g, ascorbic acid 55 mg (USDA, 2002). The nutritional value of leaf-blades is higher than that of petioles and stems; unfortunately, sources do not state whether stems and leaves or leaves only were analysed. Accumulation of heavy metals in kangkong has been reported for Asia because the plants often grow in polluted water.

Medicinal Uses:
Kangkong showed oral hypoglycaemic activity in tests with diabetic humans and rats; it was shown that an aqueous leaf extract can be as effective as tolbutamide in reducing blood glucose levels.

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.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?20218

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20o?search=Ipomoea+aquatica&guide=North_American_Invasives

http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Ipomoea%20aquatica_En.htm

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Fatty Fish-oil May Help Reduce Tumour

An omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oils reduced the size of tumours in mice and made a chemotherapy drug more potent while limiting its  harmful effects, Egyptian researchers reported.

………………...CLICK & SEE

The findings, published in publisher BioMed Central‘s peer-reviewed Cell Division journal, add to evidence showing a range of health benefits from eating the fatty acids found in foods such as salmon. A.M. El-Mowafy and colleagues from Mansoura University in Egypt looked at how an omega 3 fatty acid called docosahexanoic acid, or DHA, affected solid tumours growing in mice and how well it interacted with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

“Our results suggest a new, fruitful drug regimen in the management of solid tumours based on combining cisplatin and possibly other chemotherapeutics with DHA,” El-Mowafy said in a statement. “DHA elicited prominent chemo-preventative effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of cisplatin as well.” In March, U.S. researchers showed that a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids- the kind found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines- protected against advanced prostate cancer even in men more at risk of the disease.

The fatty acids, also found in foods such as walnuts and leafy greens, have been shown to provide an anti-inflammatory effect and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. In their study, El-Mowafy’s team found that, at the molecular level, DHA reduces the accumulation of white blood cells, systemic inflammation, and a harmful condition marked by decreased antioxidant levels- all of which have been linked to tumour growth. Their experiment also showed that the fatty acid reduced toxicity and injury to kidney tissue caused by the chemotherapy drug, the researchers said.

Sources:The Times Of India

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Cholangiocarcinoma

Accessory digestive system.
Image via Wikipedia

Alternative Names: Bile duct cancer

Definition: Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous (malignant) growth in the bile duct which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine. Other biliary tract cancers include pancreatic cancer, gall bladder cancer, and cancer of the ampulla of Vater. Cholangiocarcinoma is a relatively rare adenocarcinoma, with an annual incidence of 1–2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world, but rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past several decades.

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Causes
Cancerous tumors of the bile ducts are usually slow-growing and do not spread (metastasize) quickly. However, many of these tumors are already advanced by the time they are found.

A cholangiocarcinoma may start anywhere along the bile ducts. These tumors block off the bile ducts.

They affect both men and women. Most patients are older than 65.

Risk Factors:
Although most patients present without any known risk factors evident, a number of risk factors for the development of cholangiocarcinoma have been described; in the Western world, the most common of these is primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an inflammatory disease of the bile ducts which is in turn closely associated with ulcerative colitis (UC). Epidemiologic studies have suggested that the lifetime risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma for a person with PSC is 10%–15%,  although autopsy series have found rates as high as 30% in this population. The mechanism by which PSC increases the risk of cholangiocarcinoma is not well-understood.
Certain parasitic liver diseases may be risk factors as well. Colonization with the liver flukes Opisthorchis viverrini (found in Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia) or Clonorchis sinensis (found in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam) has been associated with the development of cholangiocarcinoma. Patients with chronic liver disease, whether in the form of viral hepatitis (e.g. hepatitis B or C), alcoholic liver disease, or cirrhosis from other causes, are at increased risk of cholangiocarcinoma. HIV infection was also identified in one study as a potential risk factor for cholangiocarcinoma, although it was unclear whether HIV itself or correlated factors (e.g. hepatitis C infection) were responsible for the association.

click to see
Congenital liver abnormalities, such as Caroli’s syndrome or choledochal cysts, have been associated with an approximately 15% lifetime risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma. The rare inherited disorders Lynch syndrome II and biliary papillomatosis are associated with cholangiocarcinoma. The presence of gallstones (cholelithiasis) is not clearly associated with cholangiocarcinoma. However, intrahepatic stones (so-called hepatolithiasis), which are rare in the West but common in parts of Asia, have been strongly associated with cholangiocarcinoma. Exposure to Thorotrast, a form of thorium dioxide which was used as a radiologic contrast medium, has been linked to the development of cholangiocarcinoma as late as 30–40 years after exposure; Thorotrast was banned in the United States in the 1950s due to its carcinogenicity.

Ricks for this condition include:

* Bile duct (choledochal) cysts
* Chronic biliary irritation
* History of infection with the parasitic worm, liver flukes
* Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Cholangiocarcinoma is rare. It occurs in approximately 2 out of 100,000 people.

Symptoms
* Chills
* Clay-colored stools
* Fever
* Itching
* Loss of appetite
* Pain in the upper right abdomen that may radiate to the back
* Weight loss
* Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)

The most common physical indications of cholangiocarcinoma are abnormal liver function tests, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), which occurs only when bile ducts are blocked by the tumor, abdominal pain (30%–50%), generalized itching (66%), weight loss (30%–50%), fever (up to 20%), or changes in stool or urine color.To some extent, the symptoms depend upon the location of the tumor: Patients with cholangiocarcinoma in the extrahepatic bile ducts (outside the liver) are more likely to have jaundice, while those with tumors of the bile ducts within the liver often have pain without jaundice.
.Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)->     CLICK & SEE
Blood tests of liver function in patients with cholangiocarcinoma often reveal a so-called “obstructive picture,” with elevated bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transferase levels, and relatively normal transaminase levels. Such laboratory findings suggest obstruction of the bile ducts, rather than inflammation or infection of the liver, as the primary cause of the jaundice.  CA19-9 is elevated in most cases

Diagnosis:–
Cholangiocarcinoma is definitively diagnosed from tissue, i.e. it is proven by biopsy or examination of the tissue excised at surgery. It may be suspected in a patient with obstructive jaundice. Considering it as the working-diagnosis may be challenging in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC); such patients are at high risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma, but the symptoms may be difficult to distinguish from those of PSC. Furthermore, in patients with PSC, such diagnostic clues as a visible mass on imaging or biliary ductal dilatation may not be evident.

Exams and Tests:-
Blood tests
Blood tests that show abnormal function.
There are no specific blood tests that can diagnose cholangiocarcinoma by themselves. Serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA19-9 are often elevated, but are not sensitive or specific enough to be used as a general screening tool. However, they may be useful in conjunction with imaging methods in supporting a suspected diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.
:

Abdominal imaging
CT scan showing cholangiocarcinomaUltrasound of the liver and biliary tree is often used as the initial imaging modality in patients with suspected obstructive jaundice. Ultrasound can identify obstruction and ductal dilatation and, in some cases, may be sufficient to diagnose cholangiocarcinoma.  Computed tomography (CT) scanning may also play an important role in the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.

Tests that show a tumor or blockage in the bile duct:
*Abdominal CT scan
*Abdominal ultrasound
*CT scan-directed biopsy
*Cytology
*Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
*Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA)

Liver function tests (especially bilirubin)

Treatment  :-
The goal is to treat the cancer and the blockage it causes. When possible, surgery to remove the tumor is the treatment of choice and may result in a cure. However, often the cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed.

Chemotherapy or radiation may be given after surgery to decrease the risk of the cancer returning. However, the benefit of this treatment is not certain.

Endoscopic therapy or surgery can clear blockages in the biliary ducts and relieve jaundice in patients when the tumor cannot be removed.

For patients with cancer that cannot be removed, radiation therapy may be beneficial. Chemotherapy may be added to radiation therapy or used when the tumor has spread. However, this is rarely effective.

Support Groups:-
You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group with members who share common experiences and problems (see cancer – support group).

Hospice is often a good resource for patients with cholangiocarcinoma that cannot be cured.

Prognosis:

Surgical resection offers the only potential chance of cure in cholangiocarcinoma. For non-resectable cases, the 5-year survival rate is 0% where the disease is inoperable because distal lymph nodes show metastases[63], and less than 5% in general. Overall median duration of survival is less than 6 months in inoperable, untreated, otherwise healthy patients with tumors involving the liver by way of the intrahepatic bile ducts and hepatic portal vein.

For surgical cases, the odds of cure vary depending on the tumor location and whether the tumor can be completely, or only partially, removed. Distal cholangiocarcinomas (those arising from the common bile duct) are generally treated surgically with a Whipple procedure; long-term survival rates range from 15%–25%, although one series reported a five year survival of 54% for patients with no involvement of the lymph nodes. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (those arising from the bile ducts within the liver) are usually treated with partial hepatectomy. Various series have reported survival estimates after surgery ranging from 22%–66%; the outcome may depend on involvement of lymph nodes and completeness of the surgery. Perihilar cholangiocarcinomas (those occurring near where the bile ducts exit the liver) are least likely to be operable. When surgery is possible, they are generally treated with an aggressive approach often including removal of the gallbladder and potentially part of the liver. In patients with operable perihilar tumors, reported 5-year survival rates range from 20%–50%.

The prognosis may be worse for patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis who develop cholangiocarcinoma, likely because the cancer is not detected until it is advanced. Some evidence suggests that outcomes may be improving with more aggressive surgical approaches and adjuvant therapy.

Possible Complications :-
*Infection
*Liver failure
*Spread (metastasis) of tumor to other organs.

When to Contact a Medical Professional :-
Call your health care provider if you have jaundice or other symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma.

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/Cholangiocarcinoma

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/000291.htm

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Olive Oil Protects Against Heart Attack

Portuguese researchers have identified a vital component of olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke.
……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
No wonder why heart attack rates are relatively lower and human lifetime is over world averages in the Mediterranean islands.

Olive oil, which is an essential part of Mediterranean cuisine, is full of monounsaturated fats.  It lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Lead researcher Fatima Paiva-Martins from University of Porto has discovered an antioxidant called DHPEA-EDA that protects red blood cells from damage more than any other part of olive oil.

“These findings provide the scientific basis for the clear health benefits that have been seen in people who have olive oil in their diet,” said Paiva-Martins.

During the study, research team led by Paiva-Martins compared the effects of four related polyphenolic compounds on red blood cells subjected to oxidative stress by a known free radical generating chemical.

Heart disease is caused partly by reactive oxygen, including free radicals, acting on LDL or “bad” cholesterol and resulting in hardening of the arteries. Red blood cells are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage because they are the body’s oxygen carriers.

They found that DHPEA-EDA was the most effective and protected red blood cells even at low concentrations.

The new discovery, Paiva-Martins believes, can lead to the production of “functional” olive oils specifically designed to reduce the risk of heart disease.


Sources:
http://www.anyhealthydiet.com/diet-and-nutrition/eat-healthy-food-protect-your-heart/

and The study  published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

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New Tricks for Finding Hidden Eye Disease

"Slit lamp examination of Eyes in an Opht...
Image via Wikipedia

An imaging analysis technique, developed to detect defects in semiconductors, is being used to diagnose the eye problems associated with diabetes over the Internet.
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Pictures of patientsretinas (the inner surface of the eye) are uploaded to a server that compares them to a database of thousands of other images of healthy and diseased eyes. Algorithms can assign a disease level to the new eye image by looking at factors such as damage to blood vessels.

Right now, an ophthalmologist double checks the system’s work, but the algorithms could be diagnosing patients on its own within three months. In other words, it will go beyond telemedicine, in which physicians connect to patients through data networks, to automated medicine.

There are many advantages to this — patients get faster, cheaper care and doctors can spend their time treating patients that have already been identified as having a problem.

Sources: Wired February 17, 2009

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Varuna(Crataeva nurvala)

Botanical Name: Crataeva nurvala
Plant Family: Capparidaceae
Common name: Three-leaved Caper, Varuna (Sanskrit)
VemacularNames: Sans: Varuna; Hind : Barun; Eng: Three-leaved caper.
Habitat: It is found in areas of temperent climate.It is  found all over India,Africa, Midle east and South America.

Description:It is a medium sized deciduous tree having height of 25 to 30 feet. Bark is light brown in color with certain crack marks. Leaves are 3 to 5 inches long are rough to touch.Leaflets are oval in shape on crushing bears a pecular smell. Flowers are 2 to 3 inch in diameter.It has purple, white and yellowish in color.Fruits are very similar to that of lemon having  one inch in diameter.It tirns red when ripen.Varun foowers in spring season and fruit in suimmer . It turns red on ripening.In summer the tree looses all its leaves.
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Toxicology:No toxic effect was seen on human body with Crataeva nurvala consumption

Chemical Constituents:

* flavonoids
* glucosinolates
* plant sterols, including lupeol
* saponins
* tannins

Action:
o anti-inflammatory [an agent to ease inflammation]
o antilithic [an agent which reduces or suppresses urinary calculi (stones) and dissolves those already present]

Medicinal Uses:
It has anti-inflammatory, diuretic, lithontriptic, demulcent and tonic properties. Bark yields ceryl alcohol, friedelin, lupeol, betulinic acid and diosgenin.

It is useful in disorders of urinary organs, urinary tract infections, pain and burning micturition, renal and vesical calculi.

The plant is katu, ushnaveerya, snigdha; cures dyscrasia and headache; appetizing; beneficial in internal abscess and deranged vata.

Parts used: Leaves, stem-bark and root-bark.

Therapeutic uses:
Fresh leaves and stem-bark are rubefacient.
Leaf juice in doses of 5 to 30 g mixed with coconut milk and butter-fat is given intern: rheumatism.
Powdered bark is useful in urinary and renal troubles, gastrotinal and uterine affections. It is a good appetizer.

Decoction of the bark, pounded with the powder of root, is found efficacious in gravel. Collyrium from the bark is applied to the outer surface of eyelids in eye affections. Bark and leaves are pounded, tied in a cloth and applied as hot fomentation in rheumatic pain. Root-bark extract, mixed with honey (excess), is a valued remedy for scrofulous enlargements of the glands under lower jaw.

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.ayushveda.com/herbs/crataeva-nurvala.htm

http://www.ecotechindia.com/herbalextracts/Crataeva%20nurvala.htm

http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/crataeva_nurvala.htm

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#tvacha

Plant May Produce Anti-HIV Gel

Nicoatiana benthamiana plant.
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A genetically-altered Australian cousin of tobacco plant could become the source of a potent chemical that promises to contain spread of  HIV through sexual intercourse, a new finding announced today suggests.

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The scientists have shown that transgenic versions of a plant Nicotiana benthamiana, also known as ‘Tjuntiwari’ in the native language, may be able to produce large quantities of a protein griffithsin which can be used as an anti-HIV microbicide gel.

The protein has shown capabilities of neutralizing HIV as it binds to the virus molecule in such a way that the virus could not disguise itself from the immune system of humans.

Anti-HIV microbicide gel directly targets entry of the virus and averts infection at the surfaces but at present they are being produced using biologicals like bacteria E.coli, an expensive process which is not cost-effective.

Scientists across the world were looking for a natural source of the protein, for producing anti-HIV microbicide gel, which can prevent women from getting sexually transmitted diseases.

The researchers from USA and UK altered the genetic nature of the plant using a tobacco mosaic virus which produced the protein griffithsin.

Sources: The Times Of India

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