Tag Archives: Women’s Health

Minimum Amount of Exercise Needed To Keep A Person Fit

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When an extensive study was done in Taiwan on 4,20,000 randomly selected adults (men and women) for 10 years,  it was found that compared with individuals in a totally inactive control group, those in the low-volume activity group, (who exercised for an average of 92 minutes per week) had a 14 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a three year longer life expectancy. Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 minutes a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4 per cent and all-cancer mortality by 1 per cent. These benefits were applicable to all age groups and both sexes. So the minimum required is probably 15 minutes a day (90 minutes a week) of moderate-intensity exercise.
CLICK   &   READ    :  Fun ways to keep fit in your office

Source: Published in The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Cyst

Definition:
A cyst is a closed, saclike structure that contains fluid, gas, or semisolid material and is not a normal part of the tissue where it is located. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body in people of any age. Cysts vary in size; they may be detectable only under a microscope or they can grow so large that they displace normal organs and tissues. The outer wall of a cyst is called the capsule.

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Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst (Photo credit: Glenn E. Malone)

A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, a cyst could go away on its own or may have to be removed through surgery.

Locations:
*Acne cyst – Pseudocysts associated with cystic acne. Actually an inflammatory nodule with or without an associated epidermoid inclusion cyst.
*Arachnoid cyst (between the surface of the brain and the cranial base or on the arachnoid membrane)
*Baker’s cyst or popliteal cyst (behind the knee joint)
*Bartholin’s cyst
*Breast cyst
*Buccal bifurcation cyst
*Calcifying odontogenic cyst
*Chalazion cyst (eyelid)
*Choroid plexus cyst (brain)
*Colloid cyst
*Cysticercal cyst (the larval stage of Taenia sp. (Crain’s backs))
*Dentigerous cyst (associated with the crowns of non-erupted teeth)
*Dermoid cyst (ovaries, testes, many other locations from head to tailbone)
*Epididymal cyst (found in the vessels attached to the testes)
*Ganglion cyst (hand/foot joints and tendons)
*Glandular odontogenic cyst
*Glial cyst (in the brain)
*Gartner’s duct cyst (vaginal or vulvar cyst of embryological origin)
*Hydatid cyst (larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus (tapeworm))
*Hydrocele (testicle)
*Keratocyst (in the jaws, these can appear solitary or associated with the Gorlin-Goltz or Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. *The latest World Health Organization classification considers Keratocysts as tumors rather than cysts)
*Liver cystic disease
*Meibomian cyst (eyelid)
*Mucoid cyst (ganglion cysts of the digits)
*Nabothian cyst (cervix)
*Ovarian cyst (ovaries, functional and pathological)
*Paradental cyst
*Paratubal cyst (fallopian tube)
*Periapical cyst (The periapical cyst, otherwise known as radicular cyst, is the most common odontogenic cyst.)
*Pericardial cyst
*Peritoneal cyst (lining of the abdominal cavity)
*Pilar cyst (cyst of the scalp)
*Pilonidal cyst (skin infection near tailbone)
*Renal cyst (kidneys)
*Polycystic ovary syndrome
*Pineal gland cyst
*Radicular cyst (associated with the roots of non-vital teeth, also known as Periapical cyst)
*Residual cyst
*Sebaceous cyst (sac below skin)
*Spermatocele (testicle)
*Tarlov cyst (spine)
*Trichilemmal cyst – Same as a pilar cyst. A familial cyst of the scalp.
*Vocal fold cyst

Cystic fibrosis:
Despite being described in 1938 as the microscopic appearance of cysts in the pancreas, cystic fibrosis is an example of a genetic disorder whose name is related to fibrosis of the cystic duct and does not involve actual cysts

Cystic neoplasm:
Most cysts in the body are benign (dysfunctional) tumors, the result of plugged ducts or other natural body outlets for secretions. However sometimes these masses are considered neoplasm:

*Dermoid cyst
*Keratocyst
*Calcifying odotogenic cyst

Symptoms:
Sometimes you can feel a cyst yourself when you feel an abnormal “lump.” For example, cysts of the skin or tissues beneath the skin are usually noticeable. Cysts in the mammary glands (breasts) also may be palpable (meaning that you can feel them when you examine the area with your fingers). Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual.

Causes:
Cysts can arise through a variety of processes in the body, including

#”wear and tear” or simple obstructions to the flow of fluid,

#infections,

#tumors,

#chronic inflammatory conditions,

#genetic (inherited) conditions,

#defects in developing organs in the embryo.

Most cysts arise due to the types of conditions listed above and are only preventable to the extent that the underlying cause is preventable.

Diagnosis:
Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual. These cysts often are first discovered by imaging studies (X-ray, ultrasound, computerized tomography or CAT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI). Cysts may or may not produce symptoms, depending upon their size and location.

Treatment:
The treatment for a cyst depends upon the cause of the cyst along with its location. Cysts that are very large and result in symptoms due to their size may be surgically removed. Sometimes the fluid contained within a cyst can be drained, or aspirated, by inserting a needle or catheter into the cyst cavity, resulting in collapse of the cyst. Radiologic imaging may be used for guidance in draining (aspirating) cyst contents if the cyst is not easily accessible. Drainage or removal of a cyst at home is not advised.

Surgical removal of a cyst is sometimes necessary. If there is any suspicion that a cyst is cancerous, the cyst is generally removed by surgery or a biopsy is taken of the cyst wall (capsule) to rule out malignancy. In certain cases, aspirated fluid from a cyst is examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present in the cyst.

If a cyst arises as part of a chronic medical condition (for example, in polycystic ovary syndrome or fibrocystic breast disease), treatment is generally directed at the underlying medical condition.

Prognosis:
The majority of cysts are benign conditions and do not result in long-term or serious complications. However, cysts that are associated with malignancy or serious infections can have a poor prognosis.

Prevention:
Prevention of cyst formation is only possible to the extent to which prevention of the underlying cause of the cyst is possible. Most kinds of cysts are not preventable.

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/Cyst
http://www.medicinenet.com/cysts/article.htm

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Women are Sometimes Unreasonable

Women are often maligned and labelled as “unreasonable, unrealistic, illogical and hysterical”, even when their statements are reasonable and logical. “Blame it on the hormones” is the usual explanation from a male-dominated society. Physicians (mostly male) in the 19th century, unaware of hormone levels, concluded that somehow all this behaviour was connected to the presence of a uterus (from the Greek word hystera which means womb). They sometimes recommended hysterectomy to remove the root cause of these problems and render these women “normal”.

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Unfortunately, some surgeons today, too, subscribe to this view. Women in the reproductive age are advised a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, once it has finished its reproductive function, to relieve them of all their physical and psychological symptoms.

Yet 15 per cent of women suffer from unreasonable anger, excessive sensitivity, paranoid thoughts, anxiety, depression, uncontrollable crying spells, and bizarre food cravings during the pre-menstrual period. In 0.4 per cent, the symptoms may be severe enough to be labelled psychotic. These symptoms are called pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). They are not because of the presence of the uterus, but are attributed to the body’s response to normal changes in the hormonal (oestrogen and progesterone) ratios during the course of a menstrual cycle.

In PMS sufferers, there’s a lack of perfect synchronisation in the hormone levels, both at the pituitary-hypothalamic level in the brain and at the level of the ovaries (not uterus). Surges and dips cause changes in the biochemical neurotransmitters (serotonin) and precipitate the depressed “low feeling”. Attempts to alleviate the depression and push up neurotransmitter levels lead to food cravings and binge eating.

The mental changes can be disruptive to the family and in the workplace. By the time the distraught family persuades the woman to seek medical help, the onset of menstruation has restored the woman’s Jekyll-and-Hyde personality to normal. Unfortunately, the menstrual cycle and mood swings repeat themselves month after month.

PMS is commoner between the ages of 30 and 45. This led to the erroneous belief that it was in some way connected with approaching menopause. This isn’t true. However, this is the time when women experience the maximum stress in both their family life and career. They often fail to cope with the combination of stress and hormonal imbalances.

Some physical changes can be produced as a result of the hormones. Fluid retention can result in a measurable weight gain (1-2kg). This can make clothes tighter. There may be backache, joint pain, breast tenderness and palpitations.

Treatment becomes imperative when the mood swings make women depressed and suicidal, or psychotic and murderous. (Most murderesses committed their crime during their pre-menstrual phase). Also, job efficiency and interpersonal relationships may be affected because of tiredness, fatigue, sensitivity and ill temper...click & see.

It is difficult to convince women with PMS that they need help, especially since they are normal for around 20 days in a month. Also, the sensitivity varies from woman to woman. Some with mild forms may be acutely conscious of their problem, while others with severe degrees of PMS may rationalise their behaviour. To avoid PMS,

Try to maintain a body mass index (weight divided by height in metre squared) as close to 23 as possible

Instead of three large meals, eat six small meals at regular three-hour intervals. Add at least six helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables, one with each meal. These are high in fibre and beneficial antioxidants. Fibres delay digestion and absorption, helping to maintain a steady blood glucose level with no depression-inducing dips

Reduce the salt intake in cooked food to one teaspoon a day

Avoid fried, salted snacks and chocolate

Reduce the use of caffeine by cutting down on carbonated colas, tea and coffee

Do regular aerobic exercise such as an hour of walking, jogging, cycling, climbing stairs or swimming to reduce stress. Exercise improves blood circulation and reduces bloating and fatigue. It produces a sense of well being. It boosts the body’s natural production of endorphins, which acts as a mood elevator

Daily supplements of vitamins and minerals may be administered to relieve some PMS symptoms. A multivitamin capsule with B6 (100 mcg), B complex, vitamin E (400 IU) and vitamin C (100mg) and calcium (1,000mg) supplementation is beneficial

Capsules of evening primrose oil, oral contraceptive pills, low dose diuretic therapy, mild antidepressants and tranquilisers have been tried and have anecdotally helped some sufferers.

PMS tends to run in families. This may be because the hormone ratios are inherited, leading to similar behaviour. This becomes more likely because of a comparable lifestyle, with improper diet and inadequate physical activity.

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Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

Soy Formula Linked To Fibroid Tumors

A study has linked soy formula given to babies with uterine fibroids in adults. Uterine fibroids are tumors of the uterus that can cause pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and fertility problems. Uterine fibroids are the leading cause of hysterectomy.

Twenty thousand women participated in the study. They were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, and were also asked about a variety or early childhood exposures including whether they had been fed soy formula.

According to Baby Gooroo:
“Women who were fed soy formula as babies were 25 percent more likely to develop uterine fibroids … The link between uterine fibroids and soy formula is thought to be a response to the isoflavones (naturally occurring estrogen-like substances) in soy, and in particular, the high exposure at an early age in women given soy formula during infancy.”

Sources: Baby Gooroo February 4, 2010

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Time to Get Children

A new test can predict the age at which menopause will occur, thus making it easier for couples to plan children.
…....CLICK & SEE
It goes against the grain of natural selection, yet in humans it is by and large fixed and universal. Around the age of 50, normal healthy women lose their ability to bear children. After a decade of gentle winding down, the reproductive system comes to a halt. Enhanced life expectancy — thanks to decades of development in healthcare — however, hasn’t been able to budge menopausal age even a wee bit. Today, a growing number of women spend almost half their life in the post-reproductive phase.

Scientists continue to be baffled by the phenomenon of menopause. While it hits all women, some unfortunate ones encounter it much early in life. A study by the Bangalore-based Institute for Social and Economic Change about four years ago showed that nearly 4 per cent of Indian women lose their ability to bear children before the age of 35, one of the lowest thresholds of menopause recorded anywhere in the world. The natural age for the onset of menopause is between 45 and 55.

In today’s world of career women and late marriages, getting to know the expected age of menopause would be a great support. It would help couples better plan their children.

A simple blood test may soon make this possible. A team of Iranian scientists — led by Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani, who heads the Reproductive Endocrinology Department, Endocrine Research Centre, Tehran — say they have developed a test that can accurately predict the onset of menopause with an average error of four months. Ramezani Tehrani is scheduled to present the findings at the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome today. This is the first effort that can predict the age of menopause from a population-based study, say the scientists.

The researchers found that it is possible to calculate the onset of menopause by measuring the concentrations of a hormone called anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), which is produced by cells in women’s ovaries. AMH controls the development of follicles in the ovaries, which produces eggs (oocytes).

The researchers used blood samples from 266 women, aged between 20 and 49. The women were part of a study that has been going on in Tehran since 1988 to evaluate cardiovascular risk factors. The scientists took the samples at three-yearly intervals and also collected information on each volunteer’s socioeconomic background and reproductive history. The women also were subjected to physical examination every three years.

“We developed a statistical model for estimating the menopausal age from a single measurement of AMH concentration in serum from blood samples,” said Ramezani Tehrani, who is also an associate professor at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

AMH, along with the hormone Inhibin B, is secreted by ovaries and is hence a direct reflection of the quality and quantity of the oocytes, said Lakshmi Rao, a scientist at the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Rao, who studies the genetic causes of premature menopause, said this is an important observation for the prediction of menopause.

According to Ramezani Tehrani, there is a good level of agreement between the menopausal ages estimated by their model and the actual ages at which menopause occurred. As many as 63 volunteers reached menopause during the study, helping the scientists validate their model.

“The results from our study could enable us to make a more realistic assessment of women’s reproductive status many years before they reach menopause,” said Ramezani Tehrani.

As per their calculation, a 20-year-old woman who has 2.8 ng/ml (nanograms per millilitre) of AMH in her blood will reach menopause between 35 and 38 years. The scientists used this statistical model to identify AMH levels at different ages that would predict if a woman is likely to have an early menopause (that is, before the age of 45). They found, for instance, that an AMH level of 4.1 ng/ml or less in a 20-year-old woman, 3.3 ng/ml in a 25-year-old, and 2.4 ng/ml in a 30-year-old indicated an early menopause.

Similarly, an AMH level of at least 4.5 ng/ml at the age of 20, 3.8 ng/ml at 25, and 2.9 ng/ml at 30 predicted a menopausal age of over 50 years. The researchers found that the average age at menopause for the women in their study was approximately 52.

The Iranian scientists claimed that their estimates are sufficiently robust and can be used by medical practitioners in their day-to-day practice. They were confident that the findings would be further validated in larger studies.

The findings thus indicate that AMH is capable of specifying a woman’s reproductive status more accurately than chronological age per se. “But considering this is a small study that has looked at women over a period of time, larger studies starting with women in their twenties and following them for several years are needed to validate the accuracy of serum AMH concentration for the prediction of menopause in young women,” said Ramezani Tehrani.

The AMH test is already commercially available and clinicians advise it in case of assisted reproduction, said Rao. “It is not only inexpensive, but also throws useful data,” she added.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata)

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