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Inguinal hernia

Description:
An inguinal hernia is a protrusion of abdominal-cavity contents through the inguinal canal. Symptoms are present in about 66% of affected people.
It occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The resulting protrusion can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object, exercise, or bowel movements. Often it gets worse throughout the day and improves when lying down. A bulging area may occur that becomes larger when bearing down. Inguinal hernias occur more often on the right than left side. The main concern is strangulation, where the blood supply to part of the intestine is blocked. This usually produces severe pain and tenderness of the area.

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An inguinal hernia isn’t necessarily dangerous. It doesn’t improve on its own, however, and can lead to life-threatening complications. Your doctor is likely to recommend surgery to fix an inguinal hernia that’s painful or enlarging. Inguinal hernia repair is a common surgical procedure.

Sign & symptoms:
Hernias present as bulges in the groin area that can become more prominent when coughing, straining, or standing up. They are rarely painful, and the bulge commonly disappears on lying down. Mild discomfort can develop over time. The inability to “reduce”, or place the bulge back into the abdomen usually means the hernia is ‘incarcerated’ which requires emergency surgery.

Causes & Risk Factors:
There isn’t one cause for this type of hernia, but weak spots within the abdominal and groin muscles are thought to be a major contributor. Extra pressure on this area of the body can eventually cause a hernia.

*heredity
*personal history of hernias
*premature birth
*being overweight or obese
*pregnancy
*cystic fibrosis
*chronic cough
*frequent constipation
*frequently standing for long periods of time

Significant pain is suggestive of strangulated bowel (an incarcerated indirect inguinal hernia).

As the hernia progresses, contents of the abdominal cavity, such as the intestines, liver, can descend into the hernia and run the risk of being pinched within the hernia, causing an intestinal obstruction. If the blood supply of the portion of the intestine caught in the hernia is compromised, the hernia is deemed “strangulated” and gut ischemia and gangrene can result, with potentially fatal consequences. The timing of complications is not predictable. Emergency surgery for incarceration and strangulation carry much higher risk than planned, “elective” procedures. However, the risk of incarceration is low, evaluated at 0.2% per year. On the other hand, surgical intervention has a significant risk of causing inguinodynia, and this is why minimally symptomatic patients are advised to watchful waiting.

Diagnosis:
There are two types of inguinal hernia, direct and indirect, which are defined by their relationship to the inferior epigastric vessels. Direct inguinal hernias occur medial to the inferior epigastric vessels when abdominal contents herniate through a weak spot in the fascia of the posterior wall of the inguinal canal, which is formed by the transversalis fascia. Indirect inguinal hernias occur when abdominal contents protrude through the deep inguinal ring, lateral to the inferior epigastric vessels; this may be caused by failure of embryonic closure of the processus vaginalis.

Direct inguinal hernia: Enters through a weak point in the fascia of the abdominal wall (Hesselbach triangle)

Indirect inguinal hernia: Protrudes through the inguinal ring and is ultimately the result of the failure of embryonic closure of the processus vaginalis after the testicle passes through it.

In the case of the female, the opening of the superficial inguinal ring is smaller than that of the male. As a result, the possibility for hernias through the inguinal canal in males is much greater because they have a larger opening and therefore a much weaker wall through which the intestines may protrude.

A physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose an inguinal hernia. Your doctor will check for a bulge in the groin area. Because standing and coughing can make a hernia more prominent, you’ll likely be asked to stand and cough or strain.

If the diagnosis isn’t readily apparent, your doctor might order an imaging test, such as an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.

Treatment:

If your hernia is small and isn’t bothering you, your doctor might recommend watchful waiting. In children, the doctor might try applying manual pressure to reduce the bulge before considering surgery.

Enlarging or painful hernias usually require surgery to relieve discomfort and prevent serious complications.

There are two general types of hernia operations — open hernia repair and laparoscopic repair.

Open hernia repair:
In this procedure, which might be done with local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision in your groin and pushes the protruding tissue back into your abdomen. The surgeon then sews the weakened area, often reinforcing it with a synthetic mesh (hernioplasty). The opening is then closed with stitches, staples or surgical glue.

After the surgery, you’ll be encouraged to move about as soon as possible, but it might be several weeks before you’re able to resume normal activities.

Laparoscopy:
In this minimally invasive procedure, which requires general anesthesia, the surgeon operates through several small incisions in your abdomen. Gas is used to inflate your abdomen to make the internal organs easier to see.

A small tube equipped with a tiny camera (laparoscope) is inserted into one incision. Guided by the camera, the surgeon inserts tiny instruments through other incisions to repair the hernia using synthetic mesh.

People who have laparoscopic repair might have less discomfort and scarring after surgery and a quicker return to normal activities. However, some studies indicate that hernia recurrence is more likely with laparoscopic repair than with open surgery.

Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to avoid scar tissue from an earlier hernia repair, so it might be a good choice for people whose hernias recur after traditional hernia surgery. It also might be a good choice for people with hernias on both sides of the body (bilateral).

Some studies indicate that a laparoscopic repair can increase the risk of complications and of recurrence. Having the procedure performed by a surgeon with extensive experience in laparoscopic hernia repairs can reduce the risks.

Prevention and Outlook of Inguinal Hernias:
Although you can’t prevent genetic defects that may cause hernias, it’s possible to lessen the severity of hernias by:

*Maintaining a healthy weight
*Eating a high-fiber diet
*Not smoking
*Avoiding heavy lifting

Early treatment can help cure inguinal hernias. However, there’s always the slight risk of recurrence and complications, such as infection after surgery, scars.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inguinal_hernia
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inguinal-hernia/home/ovc-20206354
http://www.healthline.com/health/inguinal-hernia?isLazyLoad=false#causes3

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Plectranthus purpuratus

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Botanical Name: Plectranthus purpuratus
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribes: Ocimeae
Subtribes: Plectranthinae
Genus: Plectranthus
Subgenus: P. subg. Plectranthus
Sectio: P. sect. Plectranthus
Species: Plectranthus purpuratus

Common Name: Purple Spurflower, Vick’s Plant

Habitat : Plectranthus purpuratus is native to Eastern S Africa. It is grown on a cultivated bed.

Description:
Plectranthus purpuratus is a perennial   plant. It grows to a height of 1′  to 3′ and spreads tp 1′ to 3′. It can be grown under full sun to partly shed with midium moisture containt. It’s foilages are Colorful/Burgundy and showy and full of fragarance. It has various species.

Stems 12–14 in. high, branching, succulent and brittle, thinly puberulous or nearly glabrous; leaves 3/4 in. long, nearly as broad as long, in spreading subdistant decussate pairs, ovate or suborbicular, obtusely or obsoletely crenate, glabrous or nearly so, purple beneath; petioles 3–4 lin. long; inflorescence of paniculately arranged racemes; verticils laxly 6-flowered, not pedunculate; bracts 1 1/4 lin. long, 1/2 lin. broad, ovate-lanceolate, acute; pedicels 2 lin. long; fruiting calyx 3 lin. long; flowering calyx 1 1/4 lin. long, campanulate; upper tooth broadly ovate, acute; other 4 teeth lanceolate, 2 lower the longest; corolla white (Wood); tube 2 1/2 lin. long, nearly straight; upper lip 1 lin. long, 4-lobed and with crenate margins, 2 terminal lobes obovate, lateral lobes oblong rounded; lower lip as long as the upper; nutlets 3/4 lin. long and broad, subglobose, dark brown, almost black. null

Its spreading habit and richly colored leaves suit it for the outdoor garden in frost-free climates or a container in almost any climate.It has dark-green elongated, oval. sharp tipped leaves with serrated edges. When new, the leaves have a distinctive purple cast in certain seasons. The plant is vigorous with a prostrate habit, spreading or dangling gracefully. Being a tender plant, it must come indoors for the winter or be killed by even the mildest frost.

Though Purple Spurflower is grown as a foliage plant, it blooms off an on throughout the year with small pale purple flowers. If they interfere with the foliage effect they can be cut off at bud stage. This plant demands very well drained, light, humus rich soil with even moisture. Typical potting soil is ideally formulated, provided the container offers good drainage. Regular light fertilization keeps the foliage fresh and well colored. While this ground ivy takes full sun when grown in the diffused light and cooler temperatures of coastal regions, it will demand far more protection and bright shade in dry inland locales. Few plants cascade down large pots as nicely as this, offering vigorous foliage beauty for elegant compositions over a long season.
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Medicinal Uses:
The leaves can be steeped in boiling water to vaporize the characteristic oils which are then inhaled, helping to clear nasal and respiratory passages. The leaves can also be applied as a poultice, or prepared in petroleum jelly-based ointments. Vasoline petroleum jelly works well.
Other Uses: This plant is suitable for ground cover, bed & boder design. It is mosquito replant.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Plectranthus_purpuratus
http://www.learn2grow.com/plants/plectranthus-purpuratus/
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://plants.jstor.org/compilation/plectranthus.purpuratus

Palmar hyperhidrosis

Description:
Palmer hyperhidrosis is profuse perspiration (excessive sweating) of the palms.It is one form of focal hyperhidrosis, meaning profuse perspiration affecting one area of the body. Sweaty palms may be accompanied by profuse perspiration of the feet, forehead, ckeeks, armpits (axillae) or be part of general hyperhidrosis (profuse perspiration throughout the body). Hyperhidrosis refers to profuse perspiration beyond the body’s thermoregulatory (temperature control) needs.

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Palmer  hyperhidrosis is a common condition in which the eccrine (sweat) glands of the palms and soles secrete inappropriately large quantities of sweat. The condition may become socially and professionally debilitating. The condition usually is idiopathic  and  it begins in childhood and frequently runs in families.

Symptoms:
The intensity of symptoms may vary among sufferers and trigger factors should be carefully noted. Common symptoms  are :

*Perspiration of the hands can vary from mild clamminess to severe perspiration resulting in dripping sweat.
*Temperature differences of palmar surface compared to surface temperature of other parts of the body may be noted.
*Sloughing (peeling) of skin may be noted in profuse perspiration.
*Episodes of profuse perspiration may be followed by periods of extreme dryness on the palmar surface.
*Hyperhidrosis often starts in puberty, and family history is often reported.

The secondary effects of palmar hyperhidrosis can result in both psychosocial effects as well as difficulty in undertaking certain tasks or handling equipment. Sufferers of palmar hyperhidrosis are often reluctant to partake in socially expected actions like shaking hands or touching loved ones. The embarrassment of dealing with this condition can affect the level of interactivity in both social and work situations. Difficulties with holding objects, gripping equipment or soiling electronic devices like keyboards may affect functioning at work. Daily activities such as writing with a pen or counting cash notes is often difficult.

Causes:
Hyperhidrosis is either primary focal or secondary generalized.

1. Primary Palmar  Hyperhidrosis

Focal palmar hyperhidrosis is usually localized and is referred to as primary (essential, idiopathic), meaning no obvious cause, except strong family predisposition can be found (4,5), and affected persons are otherwise healthy . Sweating on other locations as feet, armpits and face may appear. Primary palmar hyperhidrosis is caused by overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, primarily triggered by emotional causes including anxiety, nervousness, anger and fear .

There may be a significant reduction in perspiration during sleep or sedation.

2. Secondary Palmar Hyperhidrosis

In secondary palmar hyperhidrosis hands sweat due to an obvious underlying disorder like:

*Infections including local infections, tuberculosis and tinea ugunium.
*Neurological disorders like peripheral autonomic neuropathy
*Frostbite
*Arteriovenous Fistulas
*Acromegaly
*Acrodynia
*Complex Regional Pain Syndromes
*Pachyonychia Congenita
*Primary Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy
*Dyskeratosis Congenita
*Blue rubber-bleb nevus
*Glomus tumor

*Secondary palmar hyperhidrosis as part of generalized hyperhidrosis due to  several  hormonal causes (diabetes, hyperthyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, menstruation, menopause), metabolic disorders, malignant disease (lymphoma, pheochromocitoma), autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythrematosus), drugs like hypertensive drugs and certain classes of antidepressants (list of medications causing hyperhidrosis), chronic use of alcohol, Parkinson’s disease, neurological disorders (toxic neuropathy), homocystinuria, plasma cell disorders. Detailed list of conditions causing generalyzed hyperhidrosis.

How Sweat Glands Work:
In eccrine glands, the major substance enabling impulse conduction is acetylcholine, and in apocrine glands, they are catecholamines.

Body temperature is controlled by the thermoregulatory center in the hypothalamus and this is influenced not only by  by core body temperature but also by hormones, pyrogens, exercise and emotions.

Diagnosis:
The first step in diagnosing  the  Palmar  hyperhidrosis is to differentiate between generalized and focal hyperhidrosis.

A thorough case taking and medical history is usually sufficient to diagnose palmar hyperhidrosis and any trigger factors (scheduled drugs, narcotics, chronic alcoholism).

Diagnostic criteria for primary focal (including palmar) hyperhidrosis  are:

*Bilateral and relatively symmetric sweating
*Frequency of at least 1 episode per week
*Impairment of daily activities
*Age at onset before 25 years
*Family history
*Cessation of sweating during sleep

Tests may include:
*Hematological studies may be necessary to identify thyroid disorders (thyroid function test for T3 and T4 as well as thyroid antibodies) and diabetes (fasting blood glucose or a glucose tolerance test).

*X-rays and MRI scans will assist for diagnosing tuberculosis, pneumonia and tumors.

*Superficial electroconductivity can be monitored as any hyperhidrosis reduces skin electrical resistance.

*Thermoregulatory sweat test uses moisture-sensitive indicator powder to monitor moisture. Changes in the color of the powder at room temperature will highlight areas of increased perspiration.

Treatment:
Conservative management should be coupled with prescribed treatment by the Doctor to reduce the symptoms.

*Counseling may be effective in managing primary palmar hyperhidrosis in cases of mental-emotional etiology.

*Trigger foods and aggravating factors should be noted if possible and relevant dietary changes should be implemented.

*Effective prevention of secondary palmar hyperhidrosis is difficult with conservative management and drug therapy or surgery may be required.

*Excessive physical activity and extremes of heat may be two trigger factors that should be avoided as far as possible.

*In cases of diabetes, a glucose controlled diet with low glycemic index may improve glucose tolerance which could assist with palmar hyperhidrosis.

*Abstinence from alcohol and narcotics is advisable if it is the causative factor for sweaty palms.

*Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine may aggravate palmar hypehidrosis and should relevant dietary and lifestyle changes should be implemented.

*Anti-perspirant compounds like aluminum chloride can be applied on the palms to reduce moisture or palmar surfaces. Recent research on an aluminum sesquichlorohydrate foam has shown that it is effective in reducing sweat in palmar hyperhidrosis

Treatment remains a challenge: options include topical and systemic agents, iontophoresis, and botulinum toxin type A injections, with surgical sympathectomy as a last resort. None of the treatments is without limitations or associated complications. Topical aluminum chloride hexahydrate therapy and iontophoresis are simple, safe, and inexpensive therapies; however, continuous application is required because results are often short-lived, and they may be insufficient. Systemic agents such as anticholinergic drugs are tolerated poorly at the dosages required for efficacy and usually are not an option because of their associated toxicity. While botulinum toxin can be used in treatment-resistant cases, numerous painful injections are required, and effects are limited to a few months.

Standard therapeutic protocol may differ among cases of palmar hyperhidrosis depending on medical history and underlying pathology.

*Anticholinergic drugs have a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system although there are numerous side effects.

*Treatment should be directed at contributing factors.

*Ionophoresis involves the use of electrotherapeutic measures to reduce the activity of sweat glands.

*Botulinum injections at the affected area may be useful for its anticholinergic effects.

*Surgery should be considered if drug therapy proves ineffective. Endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy involves resection of the sympathetic nerve supply to the affected area. This prevents nerve stimulation of the sweat gland of the palms. However surgery has a host of complications including exacerbating the problem or increasing generalized hyperhidrosis.

Surgical sympathectomy should be reserved for the most severe cases and should be performed only after all other treatments have failed. Although the safety and reliability of treatments for palmoplantar hyperhidrosis have improved dramatically, side effects and compensatory sweating are still common, potentially severe problems.

Ayurvedic Treatment ..click & see…>…….…(1) :....(2)

Home Remedies. click & see….>…....(1) :…(2) :.…...(3) :..

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.aafp.org/afp/2004/0301/p1117.html

Causes and Treatment of Palmar Hyperhidrosis – Sweaty Palms/Hands

Let’s Talk About Schizophrenia

People sometimes change inexplicably in their late teens – they behave bizarrely, argue unnecessarily with everyone, imagine events, become suspicious or withdraw into a shell. This is actually a disease called schizophrenia and these forms are classic, delusional, paranoid and catanonic. The word itself means “split mind ” in Greek as it was confused with a multiple personality disorder by earlier physicians. Today, these two illnesses are classified separately.
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Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that is likely to affect one in 100 men and women (0.5-0.7 per cent respectively). It strikes people usually in their late teens and twenties. It is rare for schizophrenia to set in after the age of 40 and children are rarely diagnosed with it. They can, however, go on to develop it as adults if they have some other mental illness such as autism.

The onset of schizophrenia is so gradual that it mostly goes unrecognised and untreated, especially in developing countries with inadequate healthcare. In addition, people baulk at the idea of admitting they or a loved one is suffering from schizophrenia though no one has a problem saying they have an incurable chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension.

Schizophrenic patients may be delusional or hallucinate — that is see and hear things that are not real. Their speech may be disconnected, dressing and behaviour may be socially inappropriate and they may cry and laugh for no reason at all. Sometimes the person may be “catatonic” or unresponsive to any external stimulus.

Unreasonable behaviour and a quarrelsome nature may affect relations with friends, family and colleagues. The person may be unable to keep a job. Insomnia and morning drowsiness affect efficiency. The appetite may be poor.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is difficult as the symptoms evolve gradually over a period of months or years. It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact date at which the changes were noticeable. The symptoms should be present for a month for schizophrenia to be suspected and remain for six months for the diagnosis to be established. The patient or a caretaker can report the symptoms. They should be substantiated by evaluation by a qualified medical professional.

PET scans also do not strictly conform to normal parameters. The brains in schizophrenics have smaller temporal and frontal lobes. The levels and ratios of certain brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and glutamine are altered.

The exact reason for these behaviour altering brain changes is not known. However, seven per cent of persons with schizophrenia have a family member who suffers from a similar disease. Many have been born to mothers who suffered several viral illnesses during pregnancy. Environmental factors also play a role — the incidence of the disease increases in persons who are financially insecure or from dysfunctional families with a history of childhood abuse.

Schizophrenics tend to gain weight because their lifestyle is sedentary. Patients also have a predilection for addiction — to tobacco products, alcohol and drugs like cannabis. They are often unwilling to check the addictions to control lifestyle diseases like diabetes or hypertension. Also, they do not adhere to diet modifications or medications needed to keep their disease in check; so this shortens lifespan. They eventually die 10-15 years earlier than their peers. They are also 15 per cent more likely to commit suicide.

Gone are the days when schizophrenics were locked up, immersed in cold baths or given electrical shock therapy. Today there are a plethora of drugs that can be used singly or in combination to control the symptoms of schizophrenia and help the person function fairly normally. These drugs act by correcting the enzyme and chemical imbalances in the brain. Response to medication may be slow and this may be frustrating for the patient as well as caregivers but medication can be increased only gradually to optimal levels. Drugs, combinations and dosages have to be individualised and vary from person to person.

The side effects of medication are weight gain, menstrual irregularities and drowsiness. Some people become very stiff and have abnormal smacking movements or grimaces but doctors are able to tackle this with other medications.

Rehabilitation is important. Once the symptoms are controlled, patients can function in society and even hold down jobs. They need to be trained to handle money and in personal care and hygiene. Medication needs to be continued even when the symptoms have disappeared. The involvement of the whole family helps as the person is then more likely to follow medical treatment and less likely to relapse.

People often ask for a “miracle drug” — a single tablet to treat all diseases. The only universal ingredient to improve health in all diseases (even mental problems) is physical exercise. So go take a walk.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Kidney dialysis

 

Introduction:
In order for blood to perform its essential functions of bringing nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the body, and carrying waste materials away from those cells, the chemical composition of the blood must be carefully controlled. Blood contains particles of many different sizes and types, including cells, proteins, dissolved ions, and organic waste products. Some of these particles, such as proteins like hemoglobin, are essential for the body. Others, such as urea (a waste product from protein metabolism), must be removed from the blood or they will accumulate and interfere with normal metabolic processes. Still other particles, including many of the simple ions dissolved in the blood, are required by the body in certain concentrations that must be tightly regulated, especially when the intake of these chemicals varies. The body has many different means of controlling the chemical composition of the blood. For instance, you learned in the “Iron Use and Storage in the Body: Ferritin and Molecular Representations” tutorial that the ferritin protein can help to control the amount of free iron in the blood. As you will discover in the tutorial entitled, “Blood, Sweat, and Buffers: pH Regulation During Exercise”, buffers dissolved in the blood can help regulate the blood’s pH. But the largest responsibility for maintaining the chemistry of the blood falls to the kidneys, a pair of organs located just behind the lining of the abdominal cavity. It is the job of the kidneys to remove the harmful particles from the blood and to regulate the blood’s ionic concentrations, while keeping the essential particles in the blood

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Healthy kidneys clean the blood by removing excess fluid, salt and wastes. When they fail, harmful wastes build up, blood pressure may rise, and the body may retain excess fluid. When this happens, treatment – dialysis or a kidney transplant – is needed to replace the work of the failed kidneys, which is known as end-stage renal failure (ESRF).

 

There are three primary and two secondary types of dialysis: hemodialysis (primary), peritoneal dialysis (primary), hemofiltration (primary), hemodiafiltration (secondary), and intestinal dialysis (secondary).

Hemodialysis:
Haemodialysis (HD) is the most common method used to treat ESRF and has been available since the 1960s. Despite some advances in dialysis machines in recent years, HD is still a complicated and inconvenient therapy requiring a coordinated effort from a large healthcare team, including:

•GP
•Nephrologist (kidney doctor)
•Dialysis nurse
•Dialysis technician
•Dietitian
•Social worker
One important step before starting HD is a small operation to prepare a site on the body. One of the arteries in your arm is re-routed to join a vein, forming a fistula. Blood is removed from the fistula, cleaned and returned to it, allowing dialysis process to take place.

Needles are inserted into a fistula (the point of access to the bloodstream) at the start of HD. You may find this one of the hardest parts, although most people report getting used to them after a few sessions. If it’s painful, an anesthetic cream or spray can be applied to the skin.

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In HD, blood is allowed to flow, a small amount at a time, through a special filter (the ‘dialyser’ or ‘artificial kidney’) that removes wastes and extra fluids. The clean blood is then returned to your body via the fistula. This helps to keep the correct amount of water in the body, control blood pressure – and keep the proper balance of chemicals such as potassium, sodium and acid.

Most people have HD three times a week for three to five hours, with a morning, afternoon or evening ‘slot’; depending on availability and capacity at a dialysis unit, usually in a large hospital. Some receive it at a smaller satellite unit nearer home, and a few have HD in their own homes.

By learning about the treatment, and working with your healthcare team, it’s possible to have a full, active life

Peritoneal dialysis:
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) became an alternative to HD in the 1980s, with many preferring the independence it brings them.

It means you don’t have to have dialysis sessions at a unit, but can give treatments at home, at work or on holiday. Like HD, by learning about the treatment, and working with the medical team, it’s possible to have a full and active life.

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In PD, a soft tube called a catheter is used to fill the abdomen with a cleansing liquid called dialysis solution. The abdominal cavity is lined with a layer called the peritoneum. Waste products and extra fluid (and salt) then pass through the peritoneum from the blood into the dialysis solution. They then leave the body when the dialysis solution is drained. This used solution is then thrown away.

The process of draining and filling is called an ‘exchange’ and takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The period the dialysis solution is in the abdomen is called the ‘dwell time’. A typical schedule is four exchanges a day, each with a dwell time of four to eight hours.

There are many forms of PD. One doesn’t even require a machine and it’s possible to walk around with the dialysis solution in your abdomen. Talk to your specialist about what’s best for your particular situation.

Whatever form is chosen, an operation is needed to have the soft catheter placed in the abdomen, which will carry the dialysis solution in and out of the abdomen. It’s usually inserted two weeks before dialysis proceeds, to allow scar tissue to build up that will hold it in place.

Hemofiltration:
Hemofiltration is a similar treatment to hemodialysis, but it makes use of a different principle. The blood is pumped through a dialyzer or “hemofilter” as in dialysis, but no dialysate is used. A pressure gradient is applied; as a result, water moves across the very permeable membrane rapidly, “dragging” along with it many dissolved substances, importantly ones with large molecular weights, which are cleared less well by hemodialysis. Salts and water lost from the blood during this process are replaced with a “substitution fluid” that is infused into the extracorporeal circuit during the treatment. Hemodiafiltration is a term used to describe several methods of combining hemodialysis and hemofiltration in one process.

Hemodiafiltration:
Hemodialfiltration is a combination of hemodialysis and hemofiltration. In theory, this technique offers the advantages of both hemodialysis and hemofiltration.

Intestinal dialysis:
In intestinal dialysis, the diet is supplemented with soluble fibres such as acacia fibre, which is digested by bacteria in the colon. This bacterial growth increases the amount of nitrogen that is eliminated in fecal waste.  An alternative approach utilizes the ingestion of 1 to 1.5 liters of non-absorbable solutions of polyethylene glycol or mannitol every fourth hour.

Which is better?
Neither technique ‘cures’ ESRF, as they only provide about five per cent of normal kidney function. In other words, they control kidney failure to an extent. It’s hard to state which technique is ‘better’ for which patient, as both have pros and cons. Many patients will have both in their continuing treatment.

Living with dialysis
Adjusting to the effects of ESRF and the time spent on dialysis can be difficult. Aside from the ‘lost time’ (dialysis can take six to eight hours a day) most patients feel they have less energy. Many need to make changes in their work or home life, and can feel depressed when starting the process, or after several months of treatment. It’s good to talk with a social worker, nurse or doctor as this is a common problem that can often be treated effectively.

If you’re feeling well, your kidney specialist should measure the effectiveness of the dialysis with blood tests at least once a month in HD, and once every three months in PD.

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.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/kidneys/kidneys_dialysis.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialysis
http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Dialysis/Kidneys.html

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