Tag Archives: Bacterial vaginosis

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Eating out, a lot :-..
Q: I eat in restaurants very often as my nature of work requires a lot of travel. Some of the places look unhygienic. What should I do?

A: To protect yourself, drink only mineral water. Preferably carry your own water. Do not eat salads and uncooked vegetables. Immunise yourself against typhoid and hepatitis (jaundice). Protection against hepatitis A requires two injections six months apart. Protection against typhoid requires one injection every three years.

Sleep interrupted :..
Q: I have to get up in the night several times to urinate. Even when I have finished, I feel there is more urine. That is really not the case as no matter how much I try, there is no more flow. I am 62 years old.

A: You may have an enlarged prostate. The organ is situated at the neck of the urethra, the pipe through which urine is passed. As age advances, it can increase in size obstructing free voiding of urine. The problem is usually benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH, which is not cancer.

Your doctor can verify the diagnosis by examining you, doing an ultrasound and a blood test. As you wait for the results, you can ease your symptoms by avoiding caffeine and alcohol, passing urine regularly before you actually feel the urge, and staying away from antihistamine medicines.

HPV vaccine
Q: My wife is 32 years old and we have one child. I read about the cervical cancer vaccine and would like to know if she will benefit from it.

A: The guidelines for the human papillovirus vaccine (HPV) advise routine administration for all girls between the ages of nine and 11 years. The decision to vaccinate an older woman should be taken after assessing her risk for previous HPV exposure. There is no test to prove or disprove exposure to the virus. It depends on the woman’s sexual history and that of her male contacts. If she is already exposed, then any benefit from immunisation is likely to be minimal.

Hepatitis B
Q: I live with my aunt and I recently discovered she is hepatitis B positive. What should I do?

A: Check your hepatitis B status by doing a blood test in a recognised laboratory. If you are negative, immediately start on a course of vaccination. The dosage schedule is 0, 28 and 180 days. The injection has to be given in the arm and not the buttocks. But if you are already infected with hepatitis B, consult a hepatologist or gastroenterologist.

Breast lump
Q: My 23-year-old niece has a lump in her breast. The doctor said we could wait and see. But I am worried.

A: Breast cancer is commoner in older women, but it does not mean a young woman cannot develop it. Particularly those women who may be carrying the BRAC1/2 genes, which are linked with a higher incidence of breast cancer, are at risk. If your niece has a lump in the breast, it is better to have it evaluated by another surgeon. She needs an ultrasound / mammogram / biopsy depending on the size of the lump. A “wait and watch” approach is not logical or scientific until the preliminary tests are done.

Milky discharge
Q: My wife has milky discharge from both her nipples. It is seven years since the birth of our last child. She fed him for a year and a half and then the milk stopped by itself.

A: Discharge from both nipples is unlikely to be due to cancer. It can be a side effect of medications like perinorm or domperone. One of the pituitary hormones called prolactin triggers the production of milk. Some pituitary tumours cause excess prolactin secretion and this can lead to milky lateral nipple discharge. Thyroid disorders can also cause the same symptoms. Your wife’s condition needs evaluation.

 

Extra bones
Q: I have pain in the arms. It has been diagnosed as “cervical rib”.

A: Cervical ribs are extra bones attached to the neck vertebrae. They are present in 0.5 per cent of the population. They may cause no symptoms at all. In some individuals, these bones may compress the blood vessels and nerves to the arms. There may be tingling numbness and weakness of the muscles of the hands, particularly at the base of the thumb. In many individuals, it is possible to keep these symptoms at bay with regular exercise. Others may require surgery to remove the extra rib.

 

Scanty beard
Q: I have a scanty beard and want a thicker growth.

A: If you are genetically Oriental it is unlikely that your desire to grow a thick beard will meet with much success. Also, look around at your male relatives. Hair distribution on the face varies from family to family. Just to make sure everything is normal, check your testosterone levels. If that is normal, it means you are out of luck and destined to sport the clean-shaven look.

Source: The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

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Testing for Vaginitis (Yeast Infections, Trichomonas, and Gardnerella)

Posterior half of uterus and upper part of vag...

Image via Wikipedia

 

What is the test?
Vaginitis is inflammation or an infection of the vagina; symptoms usually include itchiness or irritation, abnormal discharge, and an unpleasant odor. Diagnosing the cause of vaginitis involves a simple examination of the vaginal fluid under a microscope or sending the sample to a laboratory for a culture….CLICK & SEE

How do you prepare for the test?
Because douches or vaginal creams can make it hard for the doctor to interpret test results, don’t use these products before the test. No other preparation is necessary.


What happens when the test is performed?

You’ll have a pelvic examination. The doctor uses a cotton swab to collect a sample of the fluid that moistens the lining of the vagina. This swab is rubbed against two glass slides, and a small drop of fluid is placed on each slide to mix with the vaginal fluid. If your doctor is testing for infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia, he or she might use a second cotton swab to take a sample of mucus from the middle of the cervix.

Your doctor or a technician examines the slides under a microscope for signs of infection with yeast, a tiny parasite called Trichomonas, or a bacterium called Gardnerella (which causes an infection called bacterial vaginosis). If a second cotton swab was used, the doctor sends it to a laboratory for gonorrhea or chlamydia testing.

A pelvic examination assesses the health of your vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This exam may be done in conjunction with a diagnostic or screening test. You lie on your back on an examining table with your knees bent and your feet in footrests. The doctor or the doctor’s assistant asks you to spread your knees apart. The exam has two parts: a speculum examination and a bimanual examination. The speculum examination allows the doctor to see inside you, and the bimanual examination allows him or her to feel inside you.

During the first part of the examination, the doctor inserts a speculum, a device used to separate the walls of your vagina (normally the walls are touching each other) so that he or she can see inside. You will feel some pressure when the doctor inserts the speculum. As it is inserted, the doctor also shines a light inside you, and can see the walls of your vagina as well as the cervix-the outermost part of your uterus. If you have a vaginal infection, an abnormal discharge may be visible in the vagina. The doctor can take a sample of that discharge and study it under a microscope to diagnose what kind of infection you have.

In the center of the cervix is a channel called the cervical os that leads to the interior of your uterus. If there is bleeding in the uterus, bloody material may be seen coming out through the cervical os. If there is an infection in the uterus, pus can be seen coming out through the os. With certain infections, the outer surface of the cervix can appear irritated, or may have tiny areas of bleeding.

Even if everything looks normal, the doctor may do a routine screening test such as a Pap smear or a diagnostic test such as an endometrial biopsy or colposcopy. These techniques identify various diseases or conditions that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

During the bimanual examination, the doctor determines the size and shape of your uterus. He or she presses inside your vagina with one or two fingers while pressing on your lower abdomen with the other hand. In this way, the uterus is lifted up toward your abdominal wall, making it easier to feel between the two hands. The doctor can feel if the uterus is enlarged, or whether it is lumpy from fibroids (very common but benign growths on or in the wall of the uterus). The doctor also sometimes can feel the ovaries and any masses in the fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries into the uterus). Sometimes he or she will insert another finger into your rectum, to better feel the area between the uterus and rectum. That finger can also feel for any lumps in the wall of the rectum, and can obtain a sample of stool to be tested for any sign of bleeding.

What risks are there from the test?
There are no risks from this test.

Must   you do anything special after the test is over?
No.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you what he or she saw under the microscope right away. Testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia usually requires a few days. Yeast infections are the most common type of vaginal infection, affecting three out of four women at one point or another in their lives.Although a number of over-the-counter medications are available to treat yeast infections, it is best to consult a doctor before treating yourself-especially if you have never had a yeast infection before.

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/testing-for-vaginitis.shtml

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Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal infection (vaginitis). For grammatical reasons, some people prefer to call it vaginal bacteriosis. It is NOT generally considered to be a sexually transmitted infection . BV is caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacterial flora, and should not be confused with yeast infection (candidiasis), or infection with Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomoniasis) which are not caused by bacteria.

CLICK & SEE

Symptoms:

The most common symptom of BV is an abnormal vaginal discharge (especially after sex) with an unpleasant fishy smell. There is rarely itching.Nearly half of all women with BV don’t notice any symptoms. By contrast, a ‘normal’ discharge will be odourless and will vary in consistency and amount with your menstrual cycle – a normal discharge is at its clearest about 2 weeks before your period starts.

General Diagnosis:
When you go to your healthcare provider with questions about vaginal discharge, he or she will have several diagnoses in mind to account for it. These may include:

1.The discharge is normal for you
2.Candidiasis (thrush, or a yeast infection)
3.Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomoniasis)
4.Bacterial vaginosis
To find out which of these is the case, a few simple tests are done. The provider will carry out a speculum examination and take some swabs from high in the vagina. These swabs will be tested for:

1.A characteristic smell—this is called the whiff test. A small amount of an alkali is added to a microscope slide that has been swabbed with the discharge—a ‘fishy’ odour is a positive result for bacterial vaginosis.
2.Loss of acidity—the vagina is normally slightly acidic (with a pH of 3.8–4.2), which helps to control bacteria. A swab of the discharge is put onto litmus paper to check the acidity.A positive result for bacterial vaginosis would be a pH of over 4.5.

3.’Clue cells’—so called because they give a clue to the reason behind the discharge. These are epithelial cells (like skin) that are coated with bacteria. They can be seen under microscopic examination of your discharge.
Two positive results in addition to the discharge itself are enough to diagnose BV. If there is no discharge, then all 3 criteria are needed.

What might be done?
Your doctor may be able to diagnose bacterial vaginosis from your symptoms. swabs of any discharge may be taken and tested to confirm the diagnosis.

Causes:
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by excess growth of some of the bacteria that normally live in the vagina, particularly gardnerella vaginalis and mycoplasma hominis. as a result, the natural balance of organisms, in the vagina is altered. the reason for this excess growth is unknown, but the condition is more common in sexually active women and often, but notalways, occurs in association with sexually transmitted diseases. vaginal infections can also be caused by an overgrowth of the candida fungus and the protozoan trichomonas vaginalis. Bacterial vaginosis often causes no symptoms. however, some women have a grayish white vaginal discharge with a fishy or musty odor and vaginal or vulval itching. rarely, the disorder leads to pelvic inflammatory disease, in which some of thereproductive organs become inflamed.

A healthy vagina normally contains many microorganisms, some of the common ones are Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii. Lactobacillus, particularly hydrogen peroxide-producing species, appears to help prevent other vaginal microorganisms from multiplying to a level where they cause symptoms. (Note: Lactobacillus acidophilus is not one of the species of Lactobacillus identified as playing a protective role in vaginal flora.) The microorganisms involved in BV are very diverse, but include Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus, Bacteroides, and Mycoplasma. A change in normal bacterial flora including the reduction of lactobacillus, which may be due to the use of antibiotics or pH imbalance, allows more resistant bacteria to gain a foothold and multiply. In turn these produce toxins which affect the body’s natural defenses and make re-colonization of healthy bacteria more difficult.

Most cases of bacterial vaginosis occur in sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 44, especially after contact with a new partner. Condoms may provide some protection and there is no evidence that spermicide increases BV risk. Although BV appears to be associated with sexual activity, there is no clear evidence of sexual transmission.Rather, BV is a disordering of the chemical and biological balance of the normal flora. Recent research is exploring the link between sexual partner treatment and eradication of recurrent cases of BV. Pregnant women and women with sexually transmitted infections are especially at risk for getting this infection. Bacterial vaginosis does not usually affect women after menopause. A 2005 study by researchers at Ghent University in Belgium showed that subclinical iron deficiency (anemia) was a strong predictor of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women. A longitudinal study published in February 2006 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed a link between psychosocial stress and bacterial vaginosis independent of other risk factors.

Complications:
Although previously considered a mere nuisance infection, untreated bacterial vaginosis may cause serious complications, suchas increased succeptibility to sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and may present other complications for pregnant women. It has also been associated with an increase in the development of Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) following surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or an abortion.

Modern Treatment:
Bacterial vaginosis can be cured by antibiotics such as metronidazole and clindamycin. However, there is a high rate of recurrence. Currently, there are very few over the counter products that address bacterial vaginosis. A vaginal gel product called

RepHresh claims to regulate the pH level. Boric acid capsules inserted vaginally is considered a home treatment.

Lactobacillus supplements may also be used; Fem-dophilus (Jarrow Formulas) is a lactobacillus product which specifically claims to help maintain healthy vaginal flora.

It should be noted that seeking medical attention is often necessary, because none of the over the counter products can claim to treat an active infection. More importantly, patients often inaccurately diagnose BV as a yeast infection, and delay proper treatment which may lead to complications.

In a randomized controlled trial, researchers found the efficacy of 0.75% metronidazole vaginal gel in treating bacterial vaginosis (cure rate 70.7%) was equivalent to that of standard oral metronidazole treatment (cure rate 71%). Treatment with vaginal metronidazole gel was associated with fewer gastrointestinal complaints.

Natural Remedies of Bacterial Vaginosis

Herbal Remedy for Bacterial Vaginosis

Homeopathic Therapeutics. Aspergillus; Candida; Notatum ..

Bacterial Vaginosis & Homeopathy

Homeopathic Medicines for Bacterial Vaginosis

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.

Resources:
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=226
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_vaginosis.

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Bad Breath

This bothersome complaint affects literally millions of Americans and has fueled a billion-dollar-a-year industry. Strict oral hygiene and natural remedies can provide relief. And if bad breath persists, careful dental or medical detective work often uncovers a correctable underlying cause..CLICK & SEE

Symptoms
Regularly experiencing a disagreeable taste is a sign that the breath leaving your mouth probably has an unpleasant odor.
Many people with bad breath don’t taste or smell it themselves, so look for possible clues from others: They step back when you speak, for instance. If you suspect a problem, ask someone you trust for an honest opinion.
Bleeding gums signal gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can sometimes cause bad breath.

When to Call Your Doctor
If bad breath does not improve despite self-care measures — your dentist or doctor can check for an underlying medical cause, such as gum disease or a chronic sinus infection.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Whether it’s called bad breath or halitosis, nobody wants an unpleasant odor emanating from his mouth. In the simplest cases, this problem can be traced back to smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating foods notorious for their lingering odors, including garlic, onions, and anchovies. But sometimes, the condition can become chronic, caused by an underlying medical condition.

What Causes It
Bad breath usually results from the multiplication of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. The drier your mouth, the more bacteria thrive. Any condition that reduces saliva production can contribute to bad breath — including Avancing age, breathing through the mouth, crash diets (the less food you chew, the less your salivary flow), certain medications, even the time of day (“morning breath” occurs because salivation is considerably reduced during sleep). Bacteria may also collect on the tongue, in food debris that accumulates on dentures, and on the teeth — especially when plaque or cavities are present. If bad breath persists, underlying gum disease or a chronic sinus infection is often the cause.

How Supplements Can Help
Natural strategies for bad breath work best in combination with regular and thorough oral hygiene, including flossing and brushing the teeth, as well as brushing the tongue (especially the back part), where odor-causing bacteria are likely to flourish.
Place just a drop or two of peppermint oil on the tongue a couple of times a day — larger amounts of the pure oil may cause digestive upset. Beyond its pleasant taste and aroma, peppermint oil is effective in killing bacteria. Drinking peppermint or spearmint teas, as well as plenty of plain water, may also help to fight bad breath by keeping the mouth moist.

Another approach is to chew on several fennel seeds, anise seeds, or cloves to freshen the breath; they can be conveniently carried in a small, sealed container. Fresh parsley has a similar effect; it’s also high in chlorophyll (the chemical that gives plants their green color), which has long been recognized as a powerful breath freshener. Chlorophyll is also found in commercially available “green” drinks containing spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, or other herbs. These chlorophyll-rich liquids are best swished around the mouth, then swallowed. Alternatively, try spirulina tablets, which should be chewed thoroughly.

What Else You Can Do
Brush your teeth after each meal and floss at least once a day. When you can’t brush, rinse your mouth out with some water.
Use a moist toothbrush, a tongue scraper (available at some pharmacies and health-food stores), or a metal spoon held upside down to scrape off any coating on the back of the tongue and cleanse that area.
Avoid strong-smelling foods and alcohol; don’t smoke.
If a chronic sinus infection or postnasal drip is contributing to bad breath, consider using a sinus irrigator-a device found in most health — food stores that delivers a saltwater solution into the nostrils –to clean sinuses regularly.
Licorice-flavored anise seeds can easily be made into a breath-freshening mouthwash or beverage. Boil several teaspoons of seeds in one cup of water for a few minutes, then strain and cool.
Ensure that your toothbrush remains bacteria-free by storing it in grapefruit seed extract or hydrogen peroxide; rinse it well before brushing. An electric toothbrush sanitizer may also be effective.
Some practitioners believe that poor digestion may contribute to some cases of bad breath. They advise adding extra fluid and fiber (such as psyllium) to the diet to avoid constipation. Colon-cleansing herbal formulas, available at health-food stores, may


Supplement Recommendations

Peppermint
Fennel
Parsley
Spirulina

Peppermint
Dosage: 1 or 2 drops essential oil of peppermint, placed on tongue.
Comments: Drinking peppermint tea may also be helpful.

Fennel

Dosage: Chew a pinch of fennel seeds after meals or as needed.
Comments: Chew thoroughly for best effect. Anise seeds or cloves can also be used.

Parsley
Dosage: Chew on a fresh parsley sprig after meals or as needed.
Comments: Some natural breath fresheners contain parsley oil as a key ingredient.

Spirulina
Dosage: Rinse the mouth with a commercial chlorophyll-rich “green” drink (follow package instructions).
Comments: Alternatively, tablets can be chewed.

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..
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)