Tag Archives: Mucous membrane

Mucus

 

Definition:
Mucus is a slippery secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. Mucous fluid is typically produced from mucous cells found in mucous glands. Mucous cells secrete products that are rich in glycoproteins and water. Mucous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which contain both serous and mucous cells. It is a viscous colloid containing antiseptic enzymes (such as lysozyme), proteins such as lactoferrin, glycoproteins known as mucins that are produced by goblet cells in the mucous membranes and submucosal glands, immunoglobulins, and inorganic salts. This mucus serves to protect epithelial cells in the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital, visual, and auditory systems in mammals; the epidermis in amphibians; and the gills in fish. A major function of this mucus is to protect against infectious agents such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. The average human body produces about a litre of mucus per day.

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Bony fish, hagfish, snails, slugs and some other invertebrates also produce external mucus. In addition to serving a protective function against infectious agents, such mucus provides protection against toxins produced by predators, can facilitate movement and may play a role in communication.

In the respiratory system mucus aids in the protection of the lungs by trapping foreign particles that enter it, particularly through the nose, during normal breathing. “Phlegm” is a specialized term for mucus that is restricted to the respiratory tract, while the term “mucus” more globally describes secretions of the nasal passages.

Nasal mucus is produced by the nasal mucosa, and mucal tissues lining the airways (trachea, bronchus, bronchioles) is produced by specialized airway epithelial cells (goblet cells) and submucosal glands. Small particles such as dust, particulate pollutants, and allergens as well as infectious agents such as bacteria are caught in the viscous nasal or airway mucus and prevented from entering the system. This event along with the continual movement of the respiratory mucus layer toward the oropharynx, helps prevent foreign objects from entering the lungs during breathing. Additionally, mucus aids in moisturizing the inhaled air and prevents tissues such as the nasal and airway epithelia from drying out. Nasal and airway mucus is produced constitutively, with most of it swallowed unconsciously, even when it is dried.

Increased mucus production in the respiratory tract is a symptom of many common illnesses, such as the common cold and influenza. Similarly, hypersecretion of mucus can occur in inflammatory respiratory diseases such as respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. The presence of mucus in the nose and throat is normal, but increased quantities can impede comfortable breathing and must be cleared by blowing the nose or expectorating phlegm from the throat. Tears are also a component of nasal mucus.

Diseases involving mucus:-
Generally nasal mucus is clear and thin, serving to filter air during inhalation. During times of infection, mucus can change colour to yellow or green either as a result of trapped bacteria, or due to the body’s reaction to viral infection.

In the case of bacterial infection, the bacterium becomes trapped in already clogged sinuses, breeding in the moist, nutrient-rich environment. Antibiotics may be used to treat the secondary infection in these cases, but will generally not help with the original cause.

In the case of a viral infection such as cold or flu, the first stage and also the last stage of the infection causes the production of a clear, thin mucus in the nose or back of the throat. As the body begins to react to the virus (generally one to three days), mucus thickens and may turn yellow or green. In viral infections, antibiotics will not be useful, and are a major avenue for misuse. Treatment is generally symptom-based; often it is sufficient to allow the immune system to fight off the virus over time.

Cystic fibrosis:.CLICK & SEE
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the entire body, but symptoms begin mostly in the lungs with extremely viscous (thick) production of mucus which is difficult to expel.

Mucus as a medical symptom:
Increased mucus production in the upper respiratory tract is a symptom of many common ailments, such as the common cold. Nasal mucus may be removed by blowing the nose or by using traditional methods of nasal irrigation. Excess nasal mucus, as with a cold or allergies may be treated cautiously with decongestant medications. Excess mucus production in the bronchi and bronchioles, as may occur in asthma, bronchitis or influenza, may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications as a means of reducing the airway inflammation which triggers mucus over-production. Thickening of mucus as a “rebound” effect following overuse of decongestants may produce nasal or sinus drainage problems and circumstances that promote infection. Mucus with any color other than clear or white is generally an indicator of an infection of the nasal mucosa, the paranasal sinus or, if produced via a productive cough, of a lower respiratory tract infection.

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Cold weather and mucus:……..CLICK & SEE
During cold weather, the cilia which normally sweep mucus away from the nostrils and towards the back of the throat (see respiratory epithelium) become sluggish or completely cease functioning. This results in mucus running down the nose and dripping (a runny nose). Mucus also thickens in cold weather; when an individual comes in from the cold, the mucus thaws and begins to run before the cilia begin to work again.

Digestive system:….
In the digestive system, mucus is used as a lubricant for materials which must pass over membranes, e.g., food passing down the esophagus. A layer of mucus along the inner walls of the stomach is vital to protect the cell linings of that organ from the highly acidic environment within it. The same protective layer of mucus is what comes out when you sneeze. Mucus does not digest in the intestinal tract. Mucus is also secreted from glands within the rectum due to stimulation of the mucous membrane within.
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Diseases Associated With Mucus in the Bowel
Reproductive system:
In the female reproductive system, cervical mucus prevents infection. The consistency of cervical mucus varies depending on the stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle. At ovulation cervical mucus is clear, runny, and conducive to sperm; post-ovulation, mucus becomes thicker and is more likely to block sperm.

In the male reproductive system, the seminal vesicles contribute up to 100% of the total volume of the semen and contain mucus, amino acids, prostaglandins, vitamin C, and fructose as the main energy source for the sperm.
You may click to see :What Is The Function Of The Pinocytic Vesicles

You may also click to see :-
Empty nose syndrome
Spinnbarkeit
Mucoadhesion
Mucophagy

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucophagy

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Uncaria Gambir

Botanical Name: Uncaria Gambir
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Uncaria
Species: U. gambir
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Common Name: :Catechu Pallidum, Terra Japonica, Gambier, Cutch; Gambir Cubique, Fr.; Catechu, P. G.; Katechu, Gambir-Catechu, G.; Catecu, It., Sp.

Habitat: It is a native of Malacca, Sumatra, Cochin-China, and other parts of Eastern Asia, and is largely cultivated in the islands of Bintang, Singapore, and Prince of Wales.

Description;
This is a climbing shrub with slender stems somewhat thickened at the nodes; leaves ovate or oblong, entire, rounded at the base but abruptly attenuated at the summit, opposite and stipulated, smooth on both sides.
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The stem is woody, often angular; leaves oblong-ovate, 7.5-10 Cm. (3-4′) long, petiolate, acuminate, entire, smooth; flowers small, pinkish, in clusters, calyx and corolla 5-divided, stamens 5, ovary 2-celled; fruit 2.5 Cm. (1′) long, narrow, ovoid tapering at each end, dehiscent, pericarp dry; seeds numerous, minute, pale brown, rough, tailed at each end.
The flowers are small, crowded into a dense globular head on a hairy receptacle; the flower heads are borne on long axillary peduncles which bear in the middle a whorl of bracts. At the point where these bracts occur the peduncle breaks after the falling of the inflorescence and the remainder of the peduncle becomes elongated and curved into hooks by means of which the plant climbs. Corolla gamopetalous, trumpet-shaped, tube slender; fruit one inch long, pericarp dry, dehiscing vertically into two valves; seeds very numerous.

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The gambir is prepared by lopping off the leaves, shoots, and twigs of the plant, chopping them into pieces, and throwing them into an iron pot filled with boiling water. When the leaves are exhausted and the liquid sufficiently thick, it is poured into small wooden tubs, and so soon as sufficiently cool, a half-closed hand is plunged into the semi-fluid mass and a piece of light wood shaped like an elongated dice box rapidly worked up and down in the hollow formed by the hand. The extract begins to thicken by a process which is compared to crystallization. The mass is finally turned out, and cut into cubes, which are put upon trays and smoke-dried. This extract, which is known by the native Malays as pinang or siren was first brought to the attention of the profession by Campbell.

Enormous quantities of gambir are used both in Europe and America in tanning, calico printing, dyeing, as an ingredient in boiler compounds for preventing the hard scaly incrustation caused by certain kinds of water, and other art processes requiring tannic acid.

Vanderkleed and E’we call attention to the fact that the apparent alcohol soluble content of gambir may be unduly raised by the high moisture content of some of the commercial varieties, which they report as containing over 21 per cent. of moisture, all of which would be calculated in the alcohol soluble extractive by the ordinary methods in which no allowance is made for water. (J. A. Ph. A., 1914, 1685.)

Parts used for medicinal purposes:Leaves,Twigs
Constituents. Catechin,Catechutannic acid
Tannic acid 25-38 p. c, Catechin (catechuic acid) 20 29 p. c, ash 9 p. c.

Medical Action & Uses:

Gambir is a serviceable remedy in those cases where astringents are indicated.

The complaints to which it is best adapted are diarrhea dependent on debility or relaxation of the intestinal mucous membrane, and passive hemorrhages, particularly from the uterus. A small piece held in the mouth and allowed slowly to dissolve is an excellent remedy in relaxation of the uvula and the irritation of the fauces and troublesome cough which depend upon it. Applied to spongy gums, in the state of powder, it sometimes proves useful; and it has been recommended as a dentifrice in combination with powdered charcoal, Peruvian bark, myrrh, etc.

Uses. – Diarrhoea, leuchorrhoea, gonorrhoea, cough, chronic sore throat, phthisis, bronchitis, hemorrhages, relaxed uvula, ulcerated nipples, chronic ulcers, relaxed oral mucous membrane and spongy gums (mouth-wash). In the arts for tanning, dyeing.

Dose, from ten grains to half a drachm (0.65—2.0 Gm.), which should be frequently repeated, and is best given with sugar, gum arable, and water.

Extract (gambir)„ usually in cubical or rectangular pieces 20-30 Mm. (4/5 – 1 1/5′) broad, grayish-, reddish-brown, dull, porous, friable; internally light brown, dull earthy color; inodorous; taste bitterish, very astringent; microscopically – numerous acicular crystals, non-glandular hairs, tracheae, few starch grains, .005-015 Mm. (1/5000-1/1650) broad, bacteria (?). Tests: 1. Macerate 1 Gm. with water (50), brownish filtrate, + dilute ferric chloride T. S. – intense green; with copper sulphate T. S. – no precipitate. Solvents: water dissolves 65 p. c; alcohol GO p. c. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).

KNOWN EFFECTS
Shrinks tissues. Interferes with absorption of iron and other minerals when taken internally.

UNPROVED SPECULATED BENEFITS
Decreases unusual bleeding. Treats chronic diarrhea. Is used as gargle for sore throats.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Don’t take if you:
Have any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, such as stomach or duodenal ulcers, esophageal reflux (reflux esophagitis), ulcerative colitis, spastic colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis.

Consult your doctor if you:
Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn’t improve in 2 weeks. There may be safer, more-effective treatments. Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.

Pregnancy:
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don’t use.

Breast-feeding:
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don’t use.

Infants and children:
Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.

Storage:
Keep cool and dry, but don’t freeze. Store safely away from children.

Safe dosage:
At present no “safe” dosage has been established.

TOXICITY
Rated relatively safe when taken in appropriate quantities for
short periods of time.
For symptoms of toxicity: See Adverse Reactions, Side Effects or Overdose Symptoms section below.

ADVERSE REACTIONS, SIDE EFFECTS OR OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS
Signs and symptoms:  What to do:
Diarrhea  Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
Kidney damage characterized by  Seek emergency treatment.
blood in urine, decreased urine
flow, swelling of hands and feet.
Vomiting

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.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/usdisp/ourouparia.html
http://www.healthse.com/vitamins/vitamin148.php
http://chestofbooks.com/health/materia-medica-drugs/Manual-Pharmacology/Gambir-Gambir.html

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

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Insect Allergy

Definition:
Insect  allergy from its venom is a harmful reaction to insect stings that occurs in people who have an abnormally high sensitivity to insect venom. It is an acquired trait, which is not present at the first exposure to the venom, but sensitization can occur after the first or subsequent exposures. Animals classified as insects usually have three main body segments (head, thorax and abdomen), six legs and a pair of sensory antennae. Winged insect species have two sets of wings, such as mosquitoes, bees, and wasps. Other biting or stinging insects include fleas, lice, and ants. Many other related animals that are frequently mistaken for insects such as ticks, spiders and mites also bite human beings. They can transmit infectious diseases or cause poisoning but generally do not cause allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to the venom of some stinging insects, such as honey bee, yellow jacket, hornet, wasp or fire ant can be life threatening.

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Who gets it?
While not everyone is allergic to insect venom, reactions in the skin such as mild pain, swelling, and redness may occur with an insect sting. Anyone can experience an allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting. However, only a small number of people with insect bite or sting allergies suffer fatal reactions.

Who is at risk for insect sting allergies?
Over 2 million Americans are allergic to stinging insects. The degree of allergy varies widely. Most people are not allergic to insect stings, and most insect stings result in only local itching and swelling. Many, however, will have severe allergic reactions. Severe allergic reactions to insect stings are responsible for at least 50 deaths each year in the U.S.

If you are known to be allergic to insect stings, then the next sting is 60% likely to be similar or worse than the previous sting. Since most stings occur in the summer and fall, you are at greatest risk during these months. Males under the age of 20 are the most common victims of serious insect-sting allergic reactions, but this may reflect a greater exposure to insects of males, rather than a true predisposition.

Causes:
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system produces antibodies and other disease fighting cells in response to an allergen, in this case the insect venom. The antibodies release chemicals that actually injure the surrounding cells and cause the physical symptoms of an allergic reaction. Certain antibodies release histamines, which affect the skin, mucous membrane, mucous gland, and smooth muscle cells. Life-threatening allergic reactions can occur without any previous symptoms of allergy. In fact, most people with insect bite or sting allergies do not experience a severe reaction with their first bite. Multiple bites or stings increase the risk of an allergic reaction, but just one bite will cause serious symptoms for someone who is severely allergic.

What insects are usually involved?
Most serious allergic reactions to insect venom are caused by stinging insects, such as bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps and imported fire ants. As natives of the tropics, fire ants can live only in the warmer climate of the southern states and cannot survive in the north. They are extremely aggressive and sting exposed parts of the skin when they feel threatened. Bites or stings from other insects usually do not cause allergic reaction.

Symptoms:
Symptoms of insect venom allergy often begin within 15 to 30 minutes and arise distant from the site of sting. The first symptom is often itchiness that can affect all or any part of the skin, the eyes and the nose. As symptoms progress, the patient begins to sneeze, cough and wheeze, feel congested, and develop hives or swelling. These symptoms may be warning signs of a dangerous condition called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include sudden anxiety and weakness, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, lightheadedness and palpitation, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylactic shock can occur within minutes and result in death. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that needs immediate medical treatment, and any delay may reduce the chance of survival.

Diagnosis:

Insect venom allergy is suspected based on a constellation of suggestive symptoms that follow an insect sting. The diagnosis is confirmed by performing a skin test with the venom of specific insects, such as honey bee, yellow jacket, hornet, wasp or fire ant that may be the culprit of the allergic reaction.

Treatment:
If you have been bitten or stung by an insect, carefully remove the stinger, if it is left behind. Wash the bite/sting area gently with soap and water. Apply ice to the site of sting. People who are allergic to insect bites should, of course, avoid situations in which they are likely to get stung or bitten. Mild reactions, such as pain, itching, and swelling, can be treated with an over-the counter antihistamine, pain reliever and topical corticosteroid creams. Anaphylactic shock is treated with an injection of epinephrine, a hormone that stimulates the heart and relaxes the airways. This may be combined with an injection of an antihistamine, which counteracts the histamine produced by the immune cells during an allergic reaction. Those who are known to have severe insect venom allergies should carry a self-injection kit, including antihistamine tablets, for emergency treatment. However, they should still seek emergency medical care after any type of reaction to an insect bite or sting.

People who are severely allergic to the venom of stinging insects, such as bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps or fire ants may, undergo a desensitization. First, skin testing is performed by an allergy specialist to determine the type of insect that responsible for the venom allergy. Then the patient receives a series of injections of the venom from the same insect(s). Starting dose is minute but increasingly larger doses are given until the venom doses several times larger than a single insect sting can be tolerated. This type of program must be administered by an allergy specialist, and it usually takes 20 weekly injections to eliminate this abnormal and exaggerated sensitivity. These are followed up with monthly booster shots and continued for 3 to 5 years to consolidate the cure.
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Alternative Treatments For Insect Bite Allergy

Alternative therapy for insect bites

Are There Any Ways To Treat Insect Sting Allergies Using Alternative Medicine?

Self-care tips
There are many ways you can help prevent insect bites and stings. Don’t use flowery colognes, soaps, or lotions, or wear brightly colored clothing, which attract insects. Do not keep open garbage or food that attract stinging insects when you are outdoors. Avoid drinking sweet beverages especially from open cans that have been left unattended and may harbor insects. Wear light, protective clothing such as long sleeves top and long pants whenever you will be outside for longer periods of time. Wear work gloves when you are gardening. Do not walk barefoot on the grass where insects are difficult to detect and can be stepped on. If an insect is near you, move away. Do not swat at the insect, which may awaken its defensive instincts and trigger aggressive behavior. Make sure any insect nests around your home are removed and destroyed.

Stinging Insect Allergies At A Glance:-
*Severity of reactions to stings varies greatly.

*Most insect stings do not produce allergic reactions.

*Anaphylactic reactions are the most serious reactions and can be fatal.

*Avoidance and prompt treatment are essential.

*Epinephrine (available in portable, self-injectable form) is the treatment of choice for anaphylactic reactions.

*In selected people, allergy injection therapy is highly effective in preventing future reactions.

*The three “A’s” of insect allergy are adrenaline, avoidance, and allergist.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following:

*Avoid disturbing likely beehive sites, such as large trees, tree stumps, logs, and large rocks.

*If a colony is disturbed, run and find cover as soon as possible. Running in a zigzag pattern may be helpful.

*Never stand still or crawl into a hole or other space with no way out.

*Do not slap at the bees.

*Cover as much of the head and face as possible, without obscuring vision, while running.

*Once clear of the bees, remove stingers and seek medical care if necessary, especially if there is a history of allergy to bee venom.

For more knowledge you may click to see:->Insect Allergy Reminders

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.hmc.psu.edu/healthinfo/i/insectallergy.htm
http://www.medicinenet.com/insect_sting_allergies/article.htm

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Leptospirosis

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Definition:
Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s disease, canicola fever, canefield fever, nanukayami fever, 7-day fever and many more) is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochaetes of the genus Leptospira that affects humans and a wide range of animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. It was first described by Adolf Weil in 1886 when he reported an “acute infectious disease with enlargement of spleen, jaundice and nephritis”. Leptospira was first observed in 1907 from a post mortem renal tissue slice.

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Though being recognised among the world’s most common zoonoses, leptospirosis is a relatively rare bacterial infection in humans. The infection is commonly transmitted to humans by allowing water that has been contaminated by animal urine to come in contact with unhealed breaks in the skin, eyes or with the mucous membranes. Outside of tropical areas, leptospirosis cases have a relatively distinct seasonality with most of them occurring August-September/February-March.

Causes:
Leptospirosis is caused by a spirochaete bacterium called Leptospira spp. that has at least 5 serovars of importance in the United States and Canada causing disease in dogs (Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Pomona, Grippotyphosa, and Bratislava. There are other (less common) infectious strains. It should however be noted that genetically different leptospira organisms may be identical serologically and vice versa. Hence, an argument exists on the basis of strain identification. The traditional serologic system is seemingly more useful from a diagnostic and epidemiologic standpoint at the moment (which may change with further development and spread of technologies like PCR).

Leptospirosis is transmitted by the urine of an infected animal, and is contagious as long as it is still moist. Although rats, mice and voles are important primary hosts, a wide range of other mammals including dogs, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, cows, sheep, raccoons, possums, skunks, and even certain marine mammals are also able to carry and transmit the disease as secondary hosts. Dogs may lick the urine of an infected animal off the grass or soil, or drink from an infected puddle. There have been reports of “house dogs” contracting leptospirosis apparently from licking the urine of infected mice that entered the house. The type of habitats most likely to carry infective bacteria are muddy riverbanks, ditches, gulleys and muddy livestock rearing areas where there is regular passage of either wild or farm mammals. There is a direct correlation between the amount of rainfall and the incidence of leptospirosis, making it seasonal in temperate climates and year-round in tropical climates.

Leptospirosis is also transmitted by the semen of infected animals. Abattoir workers can contract the disease through contact with infected blood or body fluids. (urine)

Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person and cases of bacterial dissemination in convalescence are extremely rare in humans. Leptospirosis is common among watersport enthusiasts in specific areas as prolonged immersion in water is known to promote the entry of the bacteria. Occupational risk factors include veterinarians, slaughter house workers, farmers, sewer workers, and architects and other building workers working on derelict buildings. An outbreak in an inner city environment has been linked to contact with rat urine.

Symptoms:
In animals, the incubation period (time of exposure to first symptoms) is anywhere from 2 to 20 days. In dogs, the liver and kidney are most commonly damaged by leptospirosis. Vasculitis can occur, causing edema and potentially disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Myocarditis, pericarditis, meningitis, and uveitis are also possible sequelae. One should strongly suspect leptospirosis and include it as part of a differential diagnosis if the sclerae of the dog’s eyes appear jaundiced (even slightly yellow), though the absence of jaundice does not eliminate the possibility of leptospirosis, and its presence could indicate hepatitis or other liver pathology rather than leptospirosis. Vomiting, fever, failure to eat, reduced urine output, unusually dark or brown urine, and lethargy are also indications of the disease. But many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. Leptospirosis is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample.

In humans, leptospiral infection causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis is a biphasic disease that begins with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, myalgias, intense headache). The first phase resolves, and the patient is briefly asymptomatic until the second phase begins. This is characterized by meningitis, liver damage (causing jaundice), and renal failure; because of the wide range of symptoms the infection is often wrongly diagnosed. This leads to a lower registered number of cases than there really are. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or a rash. The symptoms in humans appear after a 4-14 day incubation period.

Complications:
Complications include meningitis, extreme fatigue, respiratory distress, and renal interstitial tubular necrosis, which results in renal failure and often liver failure (the severe form of this disease is known as Weil’s disease, though it is sometimes named Weil Syndrome). Cardiovascular problems are also possible. Approximately 5-50% of severe leptospirosis cases are fatal; however, such cases only constitute about 10% of all registered incidents.

How do people get leptospirosis?
Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person.

How long is it between the time of exposure and when people become sick?
The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms. Leptospirosis may occur in two phases; after the first phase, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea, the patient may recover for a time but become ill again. If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil’s disease.

The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.

Diagnosis:
On infection the microorganism can be found in blood for the first 7 to 10 days (invoking serologically identifiable reactions) and then moving to the kidneys. After 7 to 10 days the microorganism can be found in fresh urine. Hence, early diagnostic efforts include testing a serum or blood sample serologically with a panel of different strains. It is also possible to culture the microorganism from blood, serum, fresh urine and possibly fresh kidney biopsy. Kidney function tests (Blood Urea Nitrogen and creatinine) as well as blood tests for liver functions are performed. The latter reveal a moderate elevation of transaminases. Brief elevations of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels are relatively mild. These levels may be normal, even in children with jaundice. Diagnosis of leptospirosis is confirmed with tests such as Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and PCR. Serological testing, the MAT (microscopic agglutination test), is considered the gold standard in diagnosing leptospirosis. As a large panel of different leptospira need to be subcultured frequently, which is both laborious and expensive, it is underused, mainly in developing countries.

Differential diagnosis list for leptospirosis is very large due to diverse symptomatics. For forms with middle to high severity, the list includes dengue fever and other hemorrhagic fevers, hepatitis of various etiologies, viral meningitis, malaria and typhoid fever. Light forms should be distinguished from influenza and other related viral diseases. Specific tests are a must for proper diagnosis of leptospirosis. Under circumstances of limited access (e.g., developing countries) to specific diagnostic means, close attention must be paid to anamnesis of the patient. Factors like certain dwelling areas, seasonality, contact with stagnant contaminated water (Bathing swimming, working on flooded meadows, etc) and/or rodents in the medical history support the leptospirosis hypothesis and serve as indications for specific tests (if available).

Leptospira can be cultured in Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris medium, which is incubated at 28 to 30°C.The median time to positivity is three weeks with a maximum of 3 months. This makes culture techniques useless for diagnostic purposes, but is commonly used in research.

Treatment:
Leptospirosis treatment is a relatively complicated process comprising two main components – suppressing the causative agent and fighting possible complications. Aetiotropic drugs are antibiotics, such as cefotaxime, doxycycline, penicillin, ampicillin, and amoxicillin (doxycycline can also be used as a prophylaxis). There are no human vaccines; animal vaccines are only for a few strains, and are only effective for a few months. Human therapeutic dosage of drugs is as follows: doxycycline 100 mg orally every 12 hours for 1 week or penicillin 1-1.5 MU every 4 hours for 1 week. Doxycycline 200-250 mg once a week is administered as a prophylaxis. In dogs, penicillin is most commonly used to end the leptospiremic phase (infection of the blood), and doxycycline is used to eliminate the carrier state.

Supportive therapy measures (esp. in severe cases) include detoxication and normalization of the hydro-electrolytic balance. Glucose and salt solution infusions may be administered; dialysis is used in serious cases. Elevations of serum potassium are common and if the potassium level gets too high special measures must be taken. Serum phosphorus levels may likewise increase to unacceptable levels due to renal failure. Treatment for hyperphosphatemia consists of treating the underlying disease, dialysis where appropriate, or oral administration of calcium carbonate, but not without first checking the serum calcium levels (these two levels are related). Corticosteroids administration in gradually reduced doses (e.g., prednisolone starting from 30-60 mg) during 7-10 days is recommended by some specialists in cases of severe haemorrhagic effects. Organ specific care and treatment are essential in cases of renal, liver or heart involvement.
Prevention:
The risk of acquiring leptospirosis can be greatly reduced by not swimming or wading in water that might be contaminated with animal urine.
Protective clothing or footwear should be worn by those exposed to contaminated water or soil because of their job or recreational activities.

Disease prevention consists of good sanitation. The use of boots and gloves in hazardous places, rodent control and immunization of farm and pet animals can also minimize the risk of spread.
Research:
Leptospirosis: a zoonotic disease of global importance. Lancet Infect Dis. 2003 Dec;3(12):757-71 Bharti AR, Nally JE, Ricaldi JN, Matthias MA, Diaz MM, Lovett MA, Levett PN, Gilman RH, Willig MR, Gotuzzo E, Vinetz JM; Peru-United States Leptospirosis Consortium.

In the past decade, leptospirosis has emerged as a globally important infectious disease. It occurs in urban environments of industrialised and developing countries, as well as in rural regions worldwide. People living in city slums who wade through dirty water are mostly affected. Agricultural labour, rice planters, sewer cleaners and workers cleaning canals easily contract this disease. Mortality remains significant, related both to delays in diagnosis due to lack of infrastructure and adequate clinical suspicion, and to other poorly understood reasons that may include inherent pathogenicity of some leptospiral strains or genetically determined host immunopathological responses. Pulmonary haemorrhage is recognised increasingly as a major, often lethal, manifestation of leptospirosis, the pathogenesis of which remains unclear. The completion of the genome sequence of Leptospira interrogans serovar lai, and other continuing leptospiral genome sequencing projects, promise to guide future work on the disease. Mainstays of treatment are still tetracyclines and beta-lactam/cephalosporins. No vaccine is available. Prevention is largely dependent on sanitation measures that may be difficult to implement, especially in developing countries.

In a study of 38 dogs diagnosed and properly treated for leptospirosis published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, the survival rate for the dialysis patients was slightly higher than the ones not put on dialysis, but both were in the 85% range (plus or minus). Of the dogs in this study that did not die, most recovered adequate kidney function, although one had chronic renal problems.

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/Leptospirosis
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/leptospirosis_g.htm

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Female Sterility

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As you know, the union of sperm and ovum and the implantation of the foetus in the wall of the uterus leads to pregnancy. For its proper development, the foetus needs adequate and correct nourishment – provided through the mother’s umbilical chord. The mother therefore should be free from disease during the entire period of pregnancy – through conception and gestation. Sterility in females is thus a result of either the impairment of the ovary, uterus, fallopian tubes, or hormones controlling the functions of these organs as well as diseases suffered by the would-be mother…..CLICK & SEE

Defects in the genital organs may be structural (organic) or functional. To correct the organic defects, surgical measures have to be taken. Functional defects of the organs, termed bandbyatva in Ayurveda and caused by the simultaneous aggravation of all the three doshas, can be successfully treated by Ayurvedic medicines.

Herbal Remedies

Phala ghrita

Very effective in the treatment of this condition. Mixed with milk, it is given to the patient in a dose of two teaspoonfuls twice daily on an empty stomach. Vanga Bhasma is the medicine of choice for the treatment of this condition – given to the patient in a dose of 0.125 gm. twice daily, mixed with honey. Shilajeet is one of the most effective drugs for the cure of sterility. In a dose of one teaspoonful, twice daily.

Bala (Sida cordifolia)

Used both locally and internally. The root of this plant is boiled in oil and milk. It is used with lukewarm water as a douche. Nis brings about a change in the mucous membrane of the genital tract that aids the effective combination of ovum and sperm in the uterus. This medicated oil is also used internally in a dose of one teaspoonful in the morning with a cup of milk.

Banyan Roots :..

The tender roots of the banyan tree are one of the valuable remedies found beneficial in the treatment of female sterility where there are no organic defects or congenital deformities. The roots should be dried in the shade and finely powdered. About 20gms of powder should be mixed with milk, which should be five times the weight of the powder, and taken at night – for three consecutive nights after the monthly periods are over.

 

Jambul Leaves :

An infusion of the fresh tender leaves of the jambul tree is an excellent remedy in such cases. The infusion can be prepared by pouring 250ml of boiling water over 20gms of fresh jambul leaves and allowing it to steep for two hour. The infusion can be taken with either two-teaspoonfuls of honey or 200 ml of buttermilk.

Winter Cherry :…...CLICK & SEE

This herb is another valuable and helpful remedy. The herb should be powdered and six grams of this powder should be taken with one cup of milk for five to six nights after menstruation.

Certain nutrients, especially vitamins C & E and zinc, when supplemented into the diet have been found helpful in some cases of sterility.

Healing Options :

Ayurvedic Supplements: 1. Vita-ex Gold 2.Supari Pak 3. Shilajeet 4. Sundari Kalp Forte

Diet: Alkaline and pungent food should not be taken by person suffering from sterility. They should be given fruits and sweet things in large quantity.

Lifestyle : The bowels should be cleansed by a warm-water enema during the period of fasting and afterwards when necessary. Excessive fat often results in sterility. In such cases weight should be reduced of diet and through exercise.

Yoga : Cobra (Bhujanga Asana) 2.Vajrasana

Home Remedies

Infertility Secrets

Natural advice to cure Female Sterility

Herbal remedy

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.

Source:Allayurveda.com

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