Tag Archives: Antimicrobial resistance

Nongonococcal Urethritis and Chlamydial Cervicitis

Nongonococcal urethritis and chlamydial cervicitis are sexually transmitted diseases caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and various other microorganisms that produce inflammation of the urethra and cervix.

Several different microorganisms cause diseases that resemble gonorrhea. These microorganisms include Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and several different types of Mycoplasma. In the past, these microorganisms were hard for laboratories to identify, so the infections they caused were simply called “nongonococcal” to indicate that they were not caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes gonorrhea.

Chlamydia trachomatis infection (chlamydia) is very common, with 659,000 reported cases in the United States in 1999. Because the infection sometimes produces no symptoms, even more people may be affected. In men, chlamydia causes about half of the
urethral infections not caused by gonorrhea. Most of the remaining male urethral infections are caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum. In women, chlamydia accounts for virtually all of the pus-forming cervical infections not caused by gonorrhea. Both sexes may acquire gonorrhea and chlamydia at the same time.

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Symptoms:
Many women remain symptom-free. if symptoms do occur, they may include:
·abnormal vaginal discharge.
·frequent urge to urinate.
·pain in the lower abdomen.
·pain on deep penetration during sex.

If left untreated, chlamydial cervicitis can sometimes lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a major cause of infertility in women. If the infection enters the bloodstream, the disorder may lead to a form of arthritis.

Between 4 and 28 days after intercourse with an infected person, an infected man typically has a mild burning sensation in his urethra while urinating. A clear or cloudy discharge from the penis may be evident. The discharge is usually less thick than the discharge that occurs in gonorrhea. Early in the morning, the opening of the penis is often red and stuck together with dried secretions. Occasionally, the disease begins more dramatically. The man needs to urinate frequently, finds urinating painful, and has discharge of pus from the urethra.

Although most women infected with Chlamydia have few or no symptoms, some experience frequent urges to urinate and pain while urinating, pain in the lower abdomen, pain during sexual intercourse, and secretions of yellow mucus and pus from the vagina.
Anal infections may cause pain and a yellow discharge of pus and mucus.

Diagnosis:

In most cases, a doctor can diagnose chlamydia by examining discharge from the penis or cervix in a laboratory. Newer tests that amplify DNA or RNA, such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enable a doctor to diagnose chlamydia or gonorrhea from a urine sample. These tests are recommended for screening of sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 25. Genital infections with Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma are not diagnosed specifically in routine medical settings, because culturing of these microorganisms is difficult and other techniques for diagnosis are expensive. The diagnosis of nongonococcal infections is often presumed if the person has characteristic symptoms and no evidence of gonorrhea.

If chlamydia is not treated, symptoms usually disappear in 4 weeks. However, an untreated infection can cause a number of complications. Untreated chlamydial cervicitis often ascends to the fallopian tubes (tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus), where inflammation may cause pain and scarring. The scarring can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancy (see Pregnancy at High-Risk :Risk Factors That Develop During Pregnancy). These complications can occur in women without symptoms and result in considerable suffering and medical costs. In men, chlamydia may cause epididymitis, which produces painful swelling of the scrotum on one or both sides (see Penile and Testicular Disorders: Epididymitis and Epididymo-orchitis).

Whether Ureaplasma has a role in these complications is unclear.

Treatment:

Chlamydial and ureaplasmal infections are usually treated with tetracyclineSome Trade Names:

ACHROMYCIN V

TETRACYN

SUMYCIN

, doxycyclineSome Trade Names:

VIBRAMYCIN

, or levofloxacinSome Trade Names:

QUIXIN

LEVAQUIN

taken by mouth for at least 7 days or with a single dose of azithromycinSome Trade Names:

ZITHROMAX

taken by mouth. Because the symptoms are so similar to those of gonorrhea, doctors usually give an antibiotic such as:

ceftriaxoneSome Trade Names:

ROCEPHIN

to treat gonorrhea at the same time. Pregnant women are given erythromycinSome Trade Names:

E-MYCIN

ERYTHROCIN

ILOSONE

instead of tetracyclineSome Trade Names:

ACHROMYCIN V

TETRACYN

SUMYCIN

or doxycyclineSome Trade Names:

VIBRAMYCIN

. If symptoms persist or return, treatment is then repeated for a longer period.

Complications of Chlamydial and Ureaplasmal Infections :

In men  ……..   Infection of the epididymis

In women:………Narrowing (stricture) of the urethra

Infection of the fallopian tubes and linings of the pelvic cavity

Infection of the surface of the liver

In men and women:

Infection of the membranes of the eyes (conjunctivitis)
In newborns

Conjunctivitis

Pneumonia

Prevention & Precautions:

Infected people who have sexual intercourse before completing treatment may infect their partners. Also, partners who are infected may re-infect the treated person. Thus, sex partners are treated simultaneously if possible. The risk of a repeat infection of chlamydia or another STD within 3 to 4 months is high enough that screening may be repeated at that time.

Click to learn more about Chlamydia infection

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.merck.com/mmhe/sec17/ch200/ch200d.html
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=340

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Better Ways to Fight Cold & Flu

The herb Echinacea, utilized by Native Americans for centuries, is a popular remedy for preventing or reducing the severity of the common cold. Hundreds of studies, primarily conducted in Germany, have provided information on the herb’s chemical and pharmacological characteristics, yet few studies have actually proven its ability to reduce cold severity.

To evaluate the effectiveness of dried, whole-plant echinacea capsules for early treatment of the common cold, approximately 150 students in the early stages of a cold were divided to take either a placebo or echinacea. The echinacea group took an encapsulated mixture of unrefined echinacea root and herbs in one-gram doses, six times on the first day of illness and three times per day on subsequent days, for up to 10 days. The placebo group took capsules containing alfalfa, which has no proven ability to boost the immune system, at the same frequency.

No difference was observed between the echinacea and placebo groups for any cold symptoms, including cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose or headaches. Average duration of the cold was approximately six days in both groups. Also, cold severity measures were “nearly identical” in those taking echinacea or placebo pills.

Although this is certainly not the last word on echinacea, since some previous research contradicts this study, it shows that otherwise healthy people might not obtain as much benefit from the herb as older adults who have frequent colds or viral illnesses. The best advice is to reduce your chances of getting a cold in the first place: wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and boost your immune system by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and getting plenty of sleep.

It’s cold and flu season, and the sounds of coughing, sneezing and runny noses can be heard in nearly every home, office and shopping mall across the country. But don’t run to the doctor and stock up on prescriptions just yet.

Colds, flus, most sore throats and acute bronchitis are caused by viruses, and antibiotics do not help fight viruses. Your prescription medication won’t fight the virus, make you feel better, yield a quicker recovery or keep others from getting sick. In fact, because of the potentially serious side effects, taking antibiotics to treat a virus can do more harm than good.

In addition to failing to solve your problem, taking unnecessary antibiotics can result in an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. This means the next time you really need an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, it may not work.

When the scratchy throat, sinus headache and sniffles get to be too much to handle this season, resist the urge to reach for the easy answer. Talk to your doctor about natural alternatives for treating your cold or flu.

For more information, go to http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=971

Sources:http://www.toyourhealth.com

Athlete’s Foot

The most common fungal infection of the skin, athlete’s foot typically begins between the
toes, causing itching, scaling, and sometimes painful breaks in the skin. This generally
harmless but unusually pesky condition may be relieved with various natural remedies.

Symptoms
Scaling and peeling between the toes. In severe cases, there may be cracks between the
toes. Redness, itching, scaling, and tiny blisters along the sides and soles of the feet.
Soft and painful skin. Infected toenails that can become thickened, discolored, or crumbly.

When to Call Your Doctor
If there’s no improvement in a week to 10 days after starting treatment withsupplements. If home treatment does not provide a complete cure within four weeks. If any area becomes red and swollen, a sign of a more serious bacterial infection.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Athlete’s foot” is the common term for a fungal infection called tinea pedis. The fungi
that cause it are tiny, plantlike cells found on the skin of all humans. They can multiply
out of control under certain conditions. The fungi thrive in cramped, damp places, such as
inside shoes and socks. In some people, athlete’s foot occurs entirely between the toes,
where the skin cracks, peels, and becomes scaly. In others, the infection appears on the
soles and sides of the feet or affects the toenails.

What Causes It
The most common fungi causing athlete’s foot are called Trichophytons. Though poorly
ventilated shoes and sweaty socks provide an excellent breeding ground for the fungi,
athlete’s foot is not highly contagious, so walking barefoot in a locker room does not
increase your risk.

How Supplements Can Help
Many doctors prescribe conventional antifungal medications for persistent cases of
athlete’s foot. These drugs can be very effective — and very costly. For the most stubborn cases of athlete’s foot, some doctors are recommending the new oral prescription drug
itraconazole, but it can cause liver damage. For milder cases, supplements can be an
inexpensive way to combat this infection; symptoms should begin to clear up within a week.

Supplements may be useful for other types of fungal skin infections as well. Jock itch, for
example, is caused by the same type of fungus responsible for most cases of athlete’s foot, and the two conditions often occur together. Topical treatments can be applied to the groin area twice a day.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, promotes immune function and aids the body in fighting fungal infections. It can be taken while using any of the topical supplements listed below.

Tea tree oil, a powerful natural antifungal agent, alters the chemical environment of the skin, making it inhospitable to fungal growth. Effective topical preparations include creams or lotions containing tea tree oil; look for products that contain tea tree oil as one of the top ingredients, or make your own by adding two parts tea tree oil to three parts of a neutral oil, such as almond oil. For an antifungal foot bath, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to a small tub of warm water; soak your feet for 15 minutes two or three times a day. Dry the feet well and dab a few drops of undiluted tea tree oil on the affected areas. If pure tea tree oil irritates your skin, use one of the topical preparations described below.

Rub garlic oil directly onto the affected areas. Garlic contains a natural fungus-fighting substance called allicin that can help to clear up athlete’s foot. You can also try dusting
your feet with garlic powder. Derived from a golden daisylike flower, calendula is another
useful option. Widely available in health-food stores, this herb relieves inflammation and
soothes the skin, which promotes healing.

What Else You Can Do
Keep your feet clean and dry. With a hair dryer set on low, dry your feet. If you prefer to use a towel, launder it after each use. Wear clean, dry socks. Air your shoes after each use, and don’t wear the same pair every day.
Go barefoot when you can, or opt for sandals or other well-ventilated shoes that allow your feet to breathe.
Try over-the-counter antifungal lotions and powders; but avoid those that contain cornstarch, which can encourage fungal growth.Cut your toenails straight across to help prevent fungal infection.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin C
Tea Tree Oil
Garlic Oil
Calendula

Vitamin C
Dosage: 1,000 mg twice a day.
Comments: Long-term use may prevent recurrences; reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Tea Tree Oil
Dosage: Apply to affected areas of skin twice a day.
Comments: Never ingest tea tree oil.

Garlic Oil
Dosage: Apply oil to affected areas of skin twice a day.
Comments: Can be used in place of tea tree oil.

Calendula
Dosage: Apply cream or lotion to affected areas twice a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 2% calendula.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Flu & influenza

Flue is a viral fever.Symptoms of flu includes: fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are more common among children than adults.Symptoms usually start four days after becoming infected with the virus. There are three types of influenza, A, B and C each with different symptoms but all treated basically the same. Fever, nasal congestion, deep chest cough, malaise, fatigue, sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, muscle aches and pains, weakness, dizziness, swollen glands, loss of appetite are just to name a few. The list expands depending on the severity of the illness.

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Over the counter remedies are also suggested since this is a virus and viral infections do not respond to antibiotics it is very doubtful they would help at all. There is a medication that can be given if caught within the first three days of the illness. Contact your physician and let them know if you feel you have the flu. They often perform a test that lets them know what type of influenza has hit their area.

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If you think you have the flu, visit your doctor as soon as symptoms start.When flue strikes the lungs, the lining of the respiratory tract gets damaged.So,immediately avoid using tobacco and exposure to second hand smoke. Also, stay away from alcohol while using prescription and over the counter medications.

Rest is important to help you get better. The flu continues to be contagious for 3 or 4 days after symptoms appear, so stay home. Get well an lessen risk of passing the flu on to others, but very difficult, since it is an airborne pathogen.

Dehydration is one of the major problems with flus, so,drink lots of fluids, like water, fruit juice, and other fluids. Hot liquids, like clear soup and tea may help relieve the feeling of congestion that often accompanies the flu.

Common medications are used to tract fever, aches, and pains. Take medication to relieve the symptoms of flu.

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PREVENTION
Flu Vaccine

The main way to keep from getting flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine. You can get the vaccine at your doctor’s office or a local clinic, and in many communities at workplaces, supermarkets, and drugstores. You must get the vaccine every year because it changes.

Scientists make a different vaccine every year because the strains of flu viruses change from year to year. Nine to 10 months before the flu season begins, they prepare a new vaccine made from inactivated (killed) flu viruses. Because the viruses have been killed, they cannot cause infection. The vaccine preparation is based on the strains of the flu viruses that are in circulation at the time. It includes those A and B viruses expected to circulate the following winter.

Sometimes, an unpredicted new strain may appear after the vaccine has been made and distributed to doctor’s offices and clinics. Because of this, even if you do get the flu vaccine, you still may get infected. If you do get infected, however, the disease usually is milder because the vaccine will still give you some protection.

Until recently, you could get the flu vaccine only as an injection (shot). In 2003, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a nasal spray flu vaccine called FluMist that you can get from your health care provider. The FDA approved it for use in healthy people aged 5 to 49 years.

You should not use FluMist if

* You have certain lung conditions, including asthma, or heart conditions
* You have metabolic disorders such as diabetes or kidney dysfunction
* You have an immunodeficiency disease or are on immunosuppressive treatment
* You have had Guillain-Barré syndrome
* You are pregnant
* You have a history of allergy or hypersensitivity, including anaphylaxis, to any of the parts of FluMist or to eggs

Children or teenagers who regularly take aspirin or products containing aspirin also should not take FluMist.

Your immune system takes time to respond to the flu vaccine. Therefore, you should get vaccinated 6 to 8 weeks before flu season begins in November to prevent getting infected or reduce the severity of flu if you do get it. Because the flu season usually lasts until March, however, it’s not too late to get it after the season has begun. The vaccine itself cannot cause the flu, but you could become exposed to the virus by someone else and get infected soon after you are vaccinated.

Possible side effects

You should be aware that the flu vaccine can cause side effects. The most common side effect in children and adults is soreness at the site of the vaccination. Other side effects, especially in children who previously have not been exposed to the flu virus, include fever, tiredness, and sore muscles. These side effects may begin 6 to 12 hours after vaccination and may last for up to 2 days.

Viruses for producing the vaccine are grown in chicken eggs and then killed with a chemical so that they can no longer cause an infection. The flu vaccine may contain some egg protein, which can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, if you are allergic to eggs or have ever had a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine, CDC recommends that you consult with your health care provider before getting vaccinated.

Vaccine recommendations
* You are 50 years of age or older
* You have chronic diseases of your heart, lungs, or kidneys
* You have diabetes
* Your immune system does not function properly
* You have a severe form of anemia
* You will be more than 3 months pregnant during the flu season
* You live in a nursing home or other chronic-care housing facility
* You are in close contact with children 0 to 23 months of age

Herbal medication of flu is good.

Some people believe that Urotherapy is a very good way to develop immunity against this type of disease.

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.