Tag Archives: Conditions and Diseases

Abnormal height that matters

Doctors may have found an answer to hormonal problems. Structural changes in protein clumps could be the culprit for this abnormality in height.

A fourteen year boy or girl might get a height of  six feet few inches though  his parents are of average height. CLICK & SEE

We call Gigantism  which is a condition that leads to excessive growth — occurs when the pituitary or thyroid gland release excess hormones. But a study published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry implies that there may be a remedy — over time — for such hormone disorders. CLICK & SEE

Scientists have known for a while that many critical life processes controlled by the hormones are affected even when their production by glands is normal. This usually happens because the hormones are not released when they are needed.

Hormones regulate processes that are crucial for healthy functioning. Many of these hormones — including insulin, glucagon and the growth hormone — are protein or peptide molecules that are synthesised by the body and stored in cells known as secretory granules in clumps called amyloids. These amyloids are released into the blood stream as and when required by the body. For example, insulin, which plays an important role in sugar metabolism, is released from the pancreatic cells in response to glucose levels in the blood stream. CLICK & SEE

Scientists have now discovered that the problem lies in the structural changes that take place in these amyloids.  “The structure or shape of a protein could be crucial for its efficient storage and secretion. Therefore, in most cases, structure governs the function of a protein,”

The group studied the role played by the structure of a peptide hormone called somatostatin-14 (SST14), which is involved in several functions of the human body, the most well known of which is countering a excessive growth hormone secretion, thus regulating human growth. Other important functions include controlling gastric acid secretion and insulin and glucagon secretion in the pancreas. A deficiency of this hormone can lead to gigantism and pituitary adenoma or non-cancerous tumours in the pituitary gland.

The researchers who carried out studies on a lab rat found that the structure of SST-14, which is stored in an amyloid form, could change in abnormal cases. And this happened when a particular chemical bond (disulphide bond) which kept it stable was disturbed. This caused the protein to take on a different structure, resulting in faster amyloid formations. These amyloids, however, do not release the somatostatin hormone readily.

The scientists, who hope to study this in bigger animals in the future, are now figuring out whether these results are applicable to other hormones too.

It shows that the difference between people who have abnormal growth hormone releases and those who don’t may lie in their somatostatin structure. This may help pharmaceutical companies hone their strategy for attacking this disorder,

Now, if experts can create long-acting somatostatin outside the human body, it can be used to treat dwarfism and pituitary deficient newborns too. Besides, this type of somatostatin can also be used to repair body tissue.”

Sources : The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Asthma weed

Botanical Name :Lobelia inflata (LINN.)/Parietaria judaica
Family: Urticaceae /Campanulaceae
Subfamily: Lobelioideae
Genus: Parietaria/Lobelia
Species: P. judaica/ L. inflata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales/Asterales

Common Names: Rapuntium inflatum, Indian-Tobacco, Pukeweed, Asthma Weed, Gagroot, Vomitwort, Bladderpod

Parts Used: The herb and its seeds

Habitat: Asthma Weed is found in the northern United States and Canada

Description:
Perennial herb with spreading to erect stems to 80 (rarely to 100) cm long. Stems reddish to green.It  possesses stalked leaves 1.5–9 cm long, lanceolate, ovate or rhombic, hairy on both surfaces, strongly veined; leaf stalk 1–1.5 cm long.Its flowers are pale violet-blue in colour. Single seeded dry fruit (achene) maturing dark brown to black, hard, 1–1.2 mm long and 0.6–0.9 mm wide
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Roots are pink or red, and woody on older plants. Flowers are very small, light green in colour, and clustered along the stems. Leaves, flowers and stems are covered with sticky hairs that will stick to skin, clothing and animal fur.

The weed spreads mainly by movement of seed, particularly when attached to animals, machinery and people. Some local spread via root pieces.

Medicinal Uses:
Asthma Weed is used as an expectorant, diaphoretic and anti-asthmatic substance. It is used also in epilepsy, tetanus, diphtheria and tonsilitis. Its infusion is used to treat ophthalmia and its tincture cures skin diseases.

Asthma weed (Euphorbia hirta) has been used traditionally in Asia to treat bronchitic asthma and laryngeal spasm. It is used in the Philippines for dengue fever.
Native Americans used lobelia to treat respiratory and muscle disorders, and as a purgative..The species used most commonly in modern herbalism is Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco). However, there are adverse effects that limit the use of lobelia.

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.herbsguide.net/asthma-weed.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medicinal_herbs
http://www.weeds.org.au/cgi-bin/weedident.cgi?tpl=plant.tpl&state=&s=&card=H68
http://www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/environment/noxious_weeds/herbs/asthma_weed

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

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

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Strep throat

Other Names:
Streptococcal pharyngitis, streptococcal tonsillitis, or streptococcal sore throat

Definition:
Strep throat is a disease that causes a sore throat (pharyngitis). It is an infection with a germ called Group A Streptococcus bacteria.  Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat.

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It  is a contagious infection, spread through close contact with an infected individual.  this is not always needed as treatment may be decided based on symptoms. In highly likely or confirmed cases, antibiotics are useful to both prevent complications and speed recovery.

It’s important to identify strep throat for a number of reasons. If untreated, strep throat can sometimes cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a rash and even damage to heart valves.

Strep throat is most common between the ages of 5 and 15, but it affects people of all ages. If you or your child has signs or symptoms of strep throat, see your doctor for prompt treatment.

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Symptoms:
Symptoms may be mild or severe.One will often start to feel sick about 2 to 5 days after he or she  come in contact with the strep germ.

Fever may begin suddenly and is often highest on the second day. You may have chills.

You can have a red sore throat, sometimes with white patches. It may hurt to swallow. You may feel swollen, tender glands in your neck.

Other symptoms may include:
*General ill feeling, a loss of appetite and abnormal taste & Fever
*Headache
*Nausea
*Throat pain
*Difficulty swallowing
*Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
*Tiny red spots on the soft or hard palate — the area at the back of the roof of the mouth
*Swollen, tender lymph glands (nodes) in your neck
*Headache
*Rash
*Stomachache and sometimes vomiting, especially in younger children
*Fatigue

It’s possible for you or your child to have many of these signs and symptoms, but not have strep throat. The cause of these signs and symptoms could be a viral infection or some other kind of illness. That’s why your doctor generally tests specifically for strep throat.

It’s also possible to have the bacteria that can cause strep in your throat without having a sore throat. Some people are carriers of strep, which means they can pass the bacteria on to others, but the bacteria are not currently making them sick.

Some strains of strep throat can lead to a scarlet fever-like rash. The rash first appears on the neck and chest. Then it spreads over the body. It may feel like sandpaper.

Causes:
Strep throat is caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GAS). Other bacteria such as non–group A beta-hemolytic streptococci and fusobacterium may also cause pharyngitis. It is spread by direct, close contact with an infected person and thus crowding as may be found in the military and schools increases the rate of transmission. It has been found that dried bacteria in dust are not infectious, although moist bacteria on toothbrushes or similar items can persist for up to fifteen days. Rarely, contaminated food can result in outbreaks. Of children with no signs or symptoms 12% carry GAS in their pharynx and after treatment approximately 15% remain carriers.

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Diagnosis:
The modified Centor criteria maybe used to determine the management of people with pharyngitis. Based on 5 clinical criteria, it indicates the probability of a streptococcal infection.

One point is given for each of the criteria:

*Absence of a cough
*Swollen and tender cervical lymph nodes
*Temperature >38.0 °C (100.4 °F)
*Tonsillar exudate or swelling
*Age less than 15 (a point is subtracted if age >44)

The Infectious Disease Society of America however recommends against empirical treatment and considers antibiotics only appropriate following positive testing. Testing is not needed in children under three as both group A strep and rheumatic fever are rare, except if they have a sibling with the disease.

Laboratory testing:
A throat culture is the gold standard for the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis with a sensitivity of 90–95%. A rapid strep test (also called rapid antigen detection testing or RADT) may also be used. While the rapid strep test is quicker, it has a lower sensitivity (70%) and statistically equal specificity (98%) as throat culture.

A positive throat culture or RADT in association with symptoms establishes a positive diagnosis in those in which the diagnosis is in doubt. In adults a negative RADT is sufficient to rule out the diagnosis however in children a throat culture is recommended to confirm the result. Asymptomatic individuals should not be routinely tested with a throat culture or RADT because a certain percentage of the population persistently “carries” the streptococcal bacteria in their throat without any harmful results.

Differential diagnosis:
As the symptoms of streptococcal pharyngitis overlap with other conditions it can be difficult to make the diagnosis clinically. Coughing, nasal discharge, diarrhea, and red, irritated eyes in addition to fever and sore throat are more indicative of a viral sore throat than of strep throat. The presence of marked lymph node enlargement along with sore throat, fever and tonsillar enlargement may also occur in infectious mononucleosis.

Possible Complications & Risk Factors:

*Acute rheumatic fever….click to see
*Scarlet fever
*Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome
*Glomerulonephritis
*Ear infection
*Glomerulonephritis
*Guttate psoriasis
*Mastoiditis
*Peritonsillar abscess
*Sinusitis

Treatment:
A number of medications are available to cure strep throat, relieve its symptoms and prevent its spread.

Antibiotics:
If you or your child has strep throat, your doctor will likely prescribe an oral antibiotic such as:
Penicillin. This drug may be given by injection in some cases — such as if you have a young child who is having a hard time swallowing or is vomiting.
Amoxicillin. This drug is in the same family as penicillin, but is often a preferred option for children because it tastes better and is available as a chewable tablet.

If you or your child is allergic to penicillin, your doctor likely may prescribe:
A cephalosporin such as cephalexin (Keflex)
Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax)
Clindamycin

These antibiotics reduce the duration and severity of symptoms, as well as the risk of complications and the likelihood that infection will spread to classmates or family members.

Once treatment begins, you or your child should start feeling better in just a day or two. Call your doctor if you or your child doesn’t feel better after taking antibiotics for 48 hours.

If children taking antibiotic therapy feel well and don’t have a fever, they often can return to school or child care when they’re no longer contagious — usually 24 hours after beginning treatment. But be sure to finish the entire course of medicine. Stopping medication early may lead to recurrences and serious complications, such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.

Untreated streptococcal pharyngitis usually resolves within a few days. Treatment with antibiotics shortens the duration of the acute illness by about 16 hours. The primary reason for treatment with antibiotics is to reduce the risk of complications such as rheumatic fever and retropharyngeal abscesses and they are effective if given within 9 days of the onset of symptoms

Analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and paracetamol (acetaminophen) help significantly in the management of pain associated with strep throat. Viscous lidocaine may also be useful. While steroids may help with the pain they are not routinely recommended. Aspirin may be used in adults but is not recommended in children due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.

Prognosis:
The symptoms of strep throat usually improve irrespective of treatment within three to five days. Treatment with antibiotics reduces the risk of complications and transmission; children may return to school 24 hours after antibiotics are administered. The risk of complications in adults is low. In children acute rheumatic fever is rare in most of the developed world. It is however the leading cause of acquired heart disease in India, sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Australia.

Prevention:
Tonsillectomy may be a reasonable preventive measure in those with frequent throat infections (more than three a year). The benefits are however small and episodes typically lessen in time regardless of measures taken. Recurrent episodes of pharyngitis which test positive for GAS may also represent a person who is a chronic carrier of GAS who is getting recurrent viral infections. Treating people who have been exposed but who are without symptoms is not recommended. Treating people who are carriers of GAS is not recommended as the risk of spread and complications is low.

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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/Streptococcal_pharyngitis
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000639.htm
http://ww.mayoclinic.com/health/strep-throat/DS00260

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Pausinystalia johimbe

Botanical Name :Pausinystalia johimbe
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Pausinystalia
Species: P. yohimbe
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Coryanthe yohimbe

Common Names:Yohimbe , johimbe, yumbina

Habitat :Pausinystalia johimbe is native to Africa specifically  west Africa.

Description:
Pausinystalia johimbe is an evergreen tree grows to a height of 30m, having fissured bark grey brown in colour and often spoted with lichen.The interior sides of the fissures are typically redder than the outer bark. The erect stems branch heavely with ovate or elliptical leaves roughly 10cm in length.The wiged seeds are delicate and paper thin.

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Chemical Constituents:Ajmaline, corynantheine, corynanthene, quebrachin, tannins, yohimbine

In addition to yohimbine, Yohimbe also contains 55 other alkaloids. Yohimbine accounts for 1-20% of its total alkaloid content. Among the others is corynanthine, an alpha-1 adrenergic receptor blocker. Hence, the use of yohimbe extract in sufficient dosages may provide concomitant alpha-1 and alpha-2 adrenoceptors blockade and thus may better enhance erections than yohimbine alone.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark of this West African tree may be used as best natural bet for reversing sexual dysfunction, though at the cost of several side effects. Until the advent of Viagra, the most commonly prescribed drug for erection problems was a pharmaceutical isolation of yohimbe’s’ active phytochemical, yohimbine. Called “herbal viagra” by the February 1999 edition of Environmental Nutrition, yohimbe’s power comes from a combination of alkaloids. Alkaloids are organic plant substances that have strong medicinal properties and are frequently used as drugs.

The terms yohimbine, yohimbine hydrochloride, and yohimbe bark extract are related but different. Yohimbe refers to the herb. Yohimbine refers to the active chemical found not only in yohimbe but also in Indian snakewood, periwinkle, quebracho, and niando. For a significant number of men who try it, yohimbe lives up to its reputation as a sexual performance enhancer.

While Yohimbe herb is often thought of for male erectile dysfunction support, most people don’t realize that yohimbe is also effective in women. This herb increases blood flow to the genitals of both males and females giving women an enhanced sensation and engorgement of genital organs. However, keep the dose low to prevent the yohimbe side effects.

Yohimbe is also sold as a muscle building natural version of anabolic steroids. However, it’s action is apparently unrelated to the body’s production of testosterone, which means it probably is of little value in building bigger muscles.

The only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medicine for impotence is yohimbine – an alkaloid isolated from the bark of the yohimbe tree (Pausinystalia yohimbe) native to tropical West Africa. Yohimbine hydrochloride increases libido, but its primary action is to increase blood flow to erectile tissue. Contrary to a popular misconception, yohimbine has no effects on testosterone levels.  When used alone, yohimbine is successful in 34-43 percent of cases.

Side Effects::
Not recommended if one has severe kidney or liver disease. Not to be taken if any one is currently on blood thinning medication, and it is not recommended to be taken for extended periods of time. Side effects can include anxiety, dizziness, rapid heart rate, insomnia, and nausea. Extremely high doses can cause hallucinations and cause muscular dysfunction – do not exceed recommend dosage by doctor. The herb contains compounds capable of elevating and also lowering blood pressure to a possibly dangerous level.

A recent study examined recreational erectile dysfunction medication use among young men. Since its introduction to the consumer market in 1998, Viagra and other oral erectile dysfunction medications (EDMs), with their promise of four-hour long erections, have become an increasingly popular drug of abuse. Viagra and other oral EDMs are unfortunately associated with increased sexual risk behaviors in young men, yet they may also negatively impact sexual function. By affecting confidence, a healthy young man may lose belief in his ability to attain an erection without pharmacological aid.

The researchers worked with a sample population comprised of 1,207 sexually active men recruited from undergraduate institutions within the U.S. Participants completed an online survey assessing frequency of EDM use, as well as levels of sexual function and levels of confidence in ability to gain and maintain erection. Recreational users reported lower erectile confidence and lower overall satisfaction compared with nonusers. Researchers believe their results underscore the possibility that recreational use of EDMs among healthy young men may lead to dysfunction.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pausinystalia_yohimbe
http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83409:pausinystal/
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail295.php

http://www.medicaldaily.com/discover-male-enhancement-through-4-natural-libido-boosters-246699

.http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Some Health Advices

No time to exercise :
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Many peaple say that they donot have any time to exercise but everyone (irrespective of age) should do some form of exercise regularly to mainten good health and less sufferings from ailments.There is a saying “people who donot have time to exercise will have much more time to suffer from illness”

Walking or skiping are very good exercises. There are several innovative ways to skip — using one leg, two legs, alternating legs. That makes in interesting.

Continuous stair climbing for 15 minutes, up and down, not 15 times but 15 minutes. One thing one must do to wear good supportive footwear for these activities. You also need to stretch before and after.

Girl aged 16 years has not yet started getting her periods:
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Usually, if the height, weight and other physical characteristics (figure) are normal, you can wait until the age of 18 years to see if she matures. If you are worried, you can do an endocrinology work up and a scan of the pelvic organs. If there is any specific defect, an endocrinologist will be able to treat it.

Cat bites or scratches:
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Cat bites are as dangerous as dog bites because cats can also transmit rabies. If you get bitten by an animal, clean the wound well with soap and water. You need to take a tetanus booster, and anti rabies injections. You need the post exposure schedule, which consists of five injections. The newer vaccines do not hurt, are given in the upper arm (deltoid) and not around the navel or in the buttock. They are available in private clinics, pharmacies and hospitals. You do not have to go to a government hospital.

Back ache:
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Sometimes if the bed or mattress is not ideal — too soft, too hard, lumpy — this can happen. Try sleeping on a mat on the floor for a few days. If this does not help then you need to consult a doctor to evaluate your spine.

To Prevent UTI:
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Women tend to develop urinary tract infection (UTI) more frequently than men. The problem is anatomical. The urethra is shorter and has only a single valve. It is situated close to the anal opening where there are a lot of potentially infective bacteria. A few preventive measures will help: drink 3-4 litres of water a day, empty your bladder before and after intercourse and lean backwards while passing urine to reduce the angulation between urethra and bladder.
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Period pain:
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You need to consult a gynaecologist and get an ultrasound scan of the pelvis done. If everything is normal, you just need a painkiller like mefenemic acid on the days that you have pain. If there is anything wrong, the gynaecologist will be able to advice you.

If there are no abnormalities, pain during periods will reduce with regular exercise.

Resources: The Telegraph,(Kolkata, India)

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