Clostridium difficile (C-Diff)

Description:
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI or C-dif) is a symptomatic infection due to the spore-forming bacterium, Clostridium difficile. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain. It makes up about 20% of cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Complications may include pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon, perforation of the colon, and sepsis.

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Clostridium difficile infection is spread by bacterial spores found within feces. Surfaces may become contaminated with the spores with further spread occurring via the hands of healthcare workers. Risk factors for infection include antibiotic or proton pump inhibitors use, hospitalization, other health problems, and older age. Diagnosis is by stool culture or testing for the bacteria’s DNA or toxins. If a person tests positive but has no symptoms, the condition is known as C. difficile colonization rather than an infection.

C. difficile infections occur in all areas of the world. About 453,000 cases occurred in the United States in 2011, resulting in 29,000 deaths. Rates of disease globally have increased between 2001 and 2016. Women are more often affected than men. The bacterium was discovered in 1935 and found to be disease-causing in 1978. In the United States, health–care associated infections increase the cost of care by US$1.5 billion each year.

Symptoms:
Many people have C diff living in their intestines and the bacteria doesn’t cause any problems for them. When kept in check by other good bacteria, C diff can cause no symptoms. However, when something (most often antibiotic usage) throws off the balance of bacteria in the body then this is when a problem can occur and C diff can start growing rapidly.

C. difficile bacteria can release toxins that attack the lining of the colon by not only destroying cells, but also creating patches of inflammatory cells that cause watery diarrhea.

Symptoms of overgrowth C diff can include:
*Watery diarrhea (at least three bowel movements per day for two days or longer)
*Appetite loss
*Nausea
*Fever
*Abdominal pain and/or tenderness

Symptoms of severe C diff infection can include:

*Watery diarrhea 10 to 15 times a day
*Abdominal cramping and pain, which may be severe
*Swollen abdomen
*Nausea
*Loss of appetite
*Pus or blood in the stool
*Fever
*Rapid heart rate
*Dehydration
*Weight loss
*Increased white blood cell count
*Kidney failure

Couses:
A C diff infection is caused by C diff bacteria. C. difficile bacteria can be found in several common places including human and animal feces as well as soil, air and water. The bacteria can also be found in some foods such as processed meat. The human intestines have somewhere around 100 trillion bacterial cells and up to 2,000 different kinds of bacteria. Much of this bacteria is good because it keeps possibly problematic bacteria in check and guards the body against infection. According to Mayo Clinic, “A small number of healthy people naturally carry the bacteria in their large intestine and don’t have ill effects from the infection.”

Risk Factors:
Antibiotics:
C. difficile colitis is associated most strongly with the use of these antibiotics: fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, and clindamycin.

Some research suggests the routine use of antibiotics in the raising of livestock is contributing to outbreaks of bacterial infections such as C. difficile.[20]

Healthcare environment:
People are most often infected in hospitals, nursing homes, or other medical institutions, although infection outside medical settings is increasing. Individuals can develop the infection if they touch objects or surfaces that are contaminated with feces and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers could possibly spread the bacteria to patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact. The rate of C. difficile acquisition is estimated to be 13% in patients with hospital stays of up to two weeks, and 50% with stays longer than four weeks.

Long-term hospitalization or residence in a nursing home within the previous year are independent risk factors for increased colonization.

Acid suppression medication:
Increasing rates of community-acquired CDI are associated with the use of medication to suppress gastric acid production: H2-receptor antagonists increased the risk 1.5-fold, and proton pump inhibitors by 1.7 with once-daily use and 2.4 with more than once-daily use.

Elemental diet:
As a result of suppression of healthy bacteria, via a loss of bacterial food source, prolonged use of an elemental diet elevates the risk of developing C. difficile infection.

Diagnosis:
Prior to the advent of tests to detect C. difficile toxins, the diagnosis most often was made by colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. The appearance of “pseudomembranes” on the mucosa of the colon or rectum is highly suggestive, but not diagnostic of the condition. The pseudomembranes are composed of an exudate made of inflammatory debris, white blood cells. Although colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are still employed, now stool testing for the presence of C. difficile toxins is frequently the first-line diagnostic approach. Usually, only two toxins are tested for—toxin A and toxin B—but the organism produces several others. This test is not 100% accurate, with a considerable false-negative rate even with repeat testing.

Toxin ELISA:
Assessment of the A and B toxins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for toxin A or B (or both) has a sensitivity of 63–99% and a specificity of 93–100%.

Previously, experts recommended sending as many as three stool samples to rule out disease if initial tests are negative, but evidence suggests repeated testing during the same episode of diarrhea is of limited value and should be discouraged. C. difficile toxin should clear from the stool of previously infected patients if treatment is effective. Many hospitals only test for the prevalent toxin A. Strains that express only the B toxin are now present in many hospitals, however, so testing for both toxins should occur. Not testing for both may contribute to a delay in obtaining laboratory results, which is often the cause of prolonged illness and poor outcomes.

Other stool tests:
Stool leukocyte measurements and stool lactoferrin levels also have been proposed as diagnostic tests, but may have limited diagnostic accuracy.

PCR:
Testing of stool samples by real-time polymerase chain reaction is able to pick up the disease about 90% of the time and when positive is incorrectly positive about 4% of the time. Multistep PCR testing algorithms can improve overall performance. Repeat testing may be misleading, and testing specimens more than once every seven days in patients without new symptoms is highly unlikely to yield useful information.

Treatments:
Carrying C. difficile without symptoms is common. Treatment in those without symptoms is controversial. In general, mild cases do not require specific treatment. Oral rehydration therapy is useful in treating dehydration associated with the diarrhea.

According to the CDC: “Whenever possible, other antibiotics should be discontinued; in a small number of patients, diarrhea may go away when other antibiotics are stopped. Treatment of primary infection caused by C. difficile is an antibiotic such as metronidazole, vancomycin, or fidaxomicin. While metronidazole is not approved for treating C. difficile infections by the FDA, it has been commonly recommended and used for mild C. difficile infections; however, it should not be used for severe C. difficile infections. Whenever possible, treatment should be given by mouth and continued for a minimum of 10 days.”

Another important fact that the CDC points out is that when antibiotics are used to treat a primary C diff infection, the infection ends up coming back in around 20 percent or a fifth of patients. Even worse, for some C diff patients, the infection doesn’t just come back once, but again and again. You can imagine how difficult that must be on a person’s body. When the infection comes back the first time, the same antibiotic is typically used, but if the infection comes back more than once then stronger antibiotics are employed.

Natural Treatments:
*Stop Antibiotics Whenever Possible

*Load Up On Good Bacteria
Also get lots of probiotic-rich foods from your diet that will help to balance the intestinal flora and fight C diff. Some top probiotic foods to consume regularly: cultured dairy products (such as kefir, goat milk yogurt or cultured probiotic yogurt made from raw cow’s milk), raw apple cider vinegar, fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, kvass) and probiotic beverages (kombucha and coconut kefir). To get the most out of apple cider vinegar, make sure to buy a raw variety with the “mother” intact, which means it still contains all its beneficial compounds including probiotics.

*Avoid or Reduce Certain Foods
According to the C Diff Foundation, there are some of the foods most people find helpful to avoid during a C Diff infection. For example dairy products,greasy, fatty foods and processed foods,some foods that are definitely healthy but may cause extra bloating, gas and discomfort,raw fruits and veggies,Processed fat-free foods like Olestra,spicy foods and large quantities of caffeine.

*Thorough Hand Washing

*Consume Natural Antibiotics like manuka honey,raw garlic, and oil of Oregano.

Prevention:

Prevention is by limiting antibiotic use, hand washing, and terminal room cleaning in hospital. Discontinuation of antibiotics may result in resolution of symptoms within three days in about 20% of those infected. Often the antibiotics metronidazole, vancomycin or fidaxomicin will cure the infection. Retesting after treatment, as long as the symptoms have resolved, is not recommended, as the person may remain colonized. Recurrences have been reported in up to 25% of people. Some tentative evidence indicates fecal microbiota transplantation and probiotics may decrease the risk of recurrence.

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/Clostridium_difficile_infection#Role_in_disease
https://draxe.com/c-diff/

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Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter Infection)

Description:
Campylobacteriosis is an infection by the Campylobacter bacterium, most commonly C. jejuni. It is among the most common bacterial infections of humans, often a foodborne illness. It produces an inflammatory, sometimes bloody, diarrhea or dysentery syndrome, mostly including cramps, fever and pain.

It is usually contracted through poorly handled food. Actually, it’s one reason why one should carefully handle raw meat to avoid contamination and make sure meat is cooked to proper temperatures.

The Campylobacter bacteria is commonly known as a foodborne pathogen that may also be in the feces of animals carrying the bacteria. In addition to chicken and other poultry, the pathogen has been found in cattle, pigs, sheep, ostriches, shellfish, cats and dogs.

While many people are able to ride out these relatively mild infections, young children, the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems are at a greater risk for complications and even death.

Campylobacter infections are not contagious, at least in the traditional sense of airborne germs going from one human to another.

Rather, campylobacteriosis is what’s known as a zoonosis, meaning a disease that occurs as a result of contact with contaminated animal products (meat, milk, etc.).

The only way to contract an infection caused by Campylobacter from another human or an infected live animal (such as a pet) would be to come in contact with its feces.

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Symptoms:
The prodromal symptoms are fever, headache, and myalgia, which can be severe, lasting as long as 24 hours. After 1–5 days, typically, these are followed by diarrhea (as many as 10 watery, frequently bloody, bowel movements per day) or dysentery, cramps, abdominal pain, and fever as high as 40 °C (104 °F). In most people, the illness lasts for 2–10 days. It is classified as invasive/inflammatory diarrhea, also described as bloody diarrhea or dysentery.

There are other diseases showing similar symptoms. For instance, abdominal pain and tenderness may be very localized, mimicking acute appendicitis. Furthermore, Helicobacter pylori is closely related to Campylobacter and causes peptic ulcer disease.

Causes:
Campylobacteriosis is caused by Campylobacter bacteria (curved or spiral, motile, non–spore-forming, Gram-negative rods). The disease is usually caused by C. jejuni, a spiral and comma shaped bacterium normally found in cattle, swine, and birds, where it is nonpathogenic, but the illness can also be caused by C. coli (also found in cattle, swine, and birds), C. upsaliensis (found in cats and dogs) and C. lari (present in seabirds in particular).

One effect of campylobacteriosis is tissue injury in the gut. The sites of tissue injury include the jejunum, the ileum, and the colon. C jejuni appears to achieve this by invading and destroying epithelial cells.

C. jejuni can also cause a latent autoimmune effect on the nerves of the legs, which is usually seen several weeks after a surgical procedure of the abdomen. The effect is known as an acute idiopathic demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), i.e. Guillain–Barré syndrome, in which one sees symptoms of ascending paralysis, dysaesthesias usually below the waist, and, in the later stages, respiratory failure.

Some strains of C jejuni produce a cholera-like enterotoxin, which is important in the watery diarrhea observed in infections. The organism produces diffuse, bloody, edematous, and exudative enteritis. In a small number of cases, the infection may be associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura through a poorly understood mechanism.

Complications:
Complications include toxic megacolon, dehydration and sepsis. Such complications generally occur in young children (< 1 year of age) and immunocompromised people. A chronic course of the disease is possible; this disease process is likely to develop without a distinct acute phase. Chronic campylobacteriosis features a long period of sub-febrile temperature and asthenia; eye damage, arthritis, endocarditis may develop if infection is untreated.

Occasional deaths occur in young, previously healthy individuals because of blood volume depletion (due to dehydration), and in persons who are elderly or immunocompromised.

Some individuals (1–2 in 100,000 cases) develop Guillain–Barré syndrome, in which the nerves that join the spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body are damaged, sometimes permanently. This occurs only with infection of C. jejuni and C. upsaliensis.

Other factors:
In patients with HIV, infections may be more frequent, may cause prolonged bouts of dirty brown diarrhea, and may be more commonly associated with bacteremia and antibiotic resistance. In participants of unprotected anal intercourse, campylobacteriosis is more localized to the distal end of the colon and may be termed a proctocolitis. The severity and persistence of infection in patients with AIDS and hypogammaglobulinemia indicates that both cell-mediated and humoral immunity are important in preventing and terminating infection.

Diagnosis:
Campylobacter organisms can be detected by performing a Gram stain of a stool sample with high specificity and a sensitivity of ~60%, but are most often diagnosed by stool culture. Fecal leukocytes should be present and indicate the diarrhea to be inflammatory in nature. Methods currently being developed to detect the presence of campylobacter organisms include antigen testing via an EIA or PCR.

Treatment:
The infection is usually self-limiting, and in most cases, symptomatic treatment by liquid and electrolyte replacement is enough in human infections.

Antibiotics:
Antibiotic treatment only has a marginal effect on the duration of symptoms, and its use is not recommended except in high-risk patients with clinical complications.

Erythromycin can be used in children, and tetracycline in adults. Some studies show, however, that erythromycin rapidly eliminates Campylobacter from the stool without affecting the duration of illness. Nevertheless, children with dysentery due to C. jejuni benefit from early treatment with erythromycin. Treatment with antibiotics, therefore, depends on the severity of symptoms. Quinolones are effective if the organism is sensitive, but high rates of quinolone use in livestock means that quinolones are now largely ineffective.

Antimotility agents, such as loperamide, can lead to prolonged illness or intestinal perforation in any invasive diarrhea, and should be avoided. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ampicillin are ineffective against Campylobacter.

In animals:
In the past, poultry infections were often treated by mass administration of enrofloxacin and sarafloxacin for single instances of infection. The FDA banned this practice, as it promoted the development of fluoroquinolone-resistant populations. A major broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone used in humans is ciprofloxacin.

Currently growing resistance of the Campylobacter to fluoroquinolones and macrolides is of a major concern.

In the meantime, it can be useful to use antibacterial essential oils to fight Campylobacter infection. Thyme oil, clove oil, orange oil and bergamot oil have all been found to have bacteria-killing benefits against Campylobacter.

When using essential oils, be careful to follow safety instructions. For example, with bergamot oil, monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes, as it may affect these levels. Clove oil shouldn’t be taken internally for more than two weeks, and thyme oil is not safe for pregnant women or people with high blood pressure or epilepsy.

Prevention:
The number one preventive measure for Campylobacter infections is to use safe food preparation methods and thoroughly cook all your food. Less than 500 Campylobacter germs are required to infect your body, which means it could happen with as little as one drop of juice from raw chicken.

Because it’s possible to contract this infection from a sick pet, do your best to adopt animals that are happy and alert. Sluggishness, abnormal eating and diarrhea can be early signs of infection in dogs and cats. See a veterinarian within a short period of time after adopting an animal to make sure the animal is in optimal health, and always keep the pet’s living area as clean as possible.

Prognosis:
Campylobacteriosis is usually self-limited without any mortality (assuming proper hydration is maintained). However, there are several possible complications.

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/Campylobacteriosis
https://draxe.com/campylobacter/

Burning mouth syndrome

Description:
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a burning sensation in the mouth with no underlying dental or medical cause. No related signs of disease are found in the mouth. People with burning mouth syndrome may also have a dry mouth sensation where no cause can be found such as reduced salivary flow, tingling in the mouth, or an altered taste or smell.

A burning sensation in the mouth can be a symptom of another disease when local or systemic factors are found to be implicated, and this is not considered to be burning mouth syndrome, which is a syndrome of medically unexplained symptoms. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines burning mouth syndrome as “a distinctive nosological entity characterized by unremitting oral burning or similar pain in the absence of detectable mucosal changes”, and “burning pain in the tongue or other oral mucous membranes”, and the International Headache Society defines it as “an intra-oral burning sensation for which no medical or dental cause can be found”.

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Burning mouth syndrome is broken into two diagnoses, primary BMS and secondary BMS. When medical tests do not determine that there is an underlying medical problem or prescription medication causing the symptoms, the physician will likely diagnose primary BMS. If, on the other hand, the symptoms are due to an underlying medical condition or prescribed medication, he or she will diagnose secondary BMS.

Due to insufficient evidence it is unclear if effective treatments exist.

Signs & Symptoms:
By definition, BMS has no signs. Sometimes affected persons will attribute the symptoms to sores in the mouth, but these are in fact normal anatomic structures (e.g. lingual papillae, varices). Symptoms of BMS are variable, but the typical clinical picture is given below, considered according to the Socrates pain assessment method (see table). If clinical signs are visible, then another explanation for the burning sensation may be present. Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of papillae on the tip of the tongue may be a sign that the tongue is being habitually pressed against the teeth. The number and size of filiform papillae may be reduced. If the tongue is very red and smooth, then there is likely a local or systemic cause (e.g. eythematous candidiasis, anemia)

Because of this, in some cases individuals affected may experience:

*Dry mouth
*Pain
*Increased thirst
*Changes or loss of taste
*Metallic taste in mouth that remains after eating or brushing teeth
*Burning or scaled sensation in one or more areas of the mouth

Risk Factors:
Some common medical conditions that can cause burning mouth symptoms include:

*Sjogren’s Syndrome
*Radiation therapy
*Chemotherapy
*Low blood pressure medications
*Vitamin B deficiency
*Iron deficiency
*Acid reflux
*Diabetes
*Thyroid problems
*Fungal infection in the mouth
*Dentures that don’t fit properly
*Allergic reactions to dyes, foods, toothpaste, fragrances or environmental elements

Risk factors for primary BMS include:

*Being female
*Postmenopausal
*Over the age of 50
*Dry mouth
*A recent illness
*A recent traumatic life event
*Elevated stress levels
*Undiagnosed anxiety and depression

Complications:
Complications that burning mouth syndrome may cause or be associated with are mainly related to discomfort. They include, for example:

*Difficulty falling asleep
*Difficulty eating
*Depression
*Anxiety

Causes:
The cause of burning mouth syndrome can be classified as either primary or secondary.

Primary burning mouth syndrome

When no clinical or lab abnormalities can be identified, the condition is called primary or idiopathic burning mouth syndrome. Some research suggests that primary burning mouth syndrome is related to problems with taste and sensory nerves of the peripheral or central nervous system.

Secondary burning mouth syndrome

Sometimes burning mouth syndrome is caused by an underlying medical condition. In these cases, it’s called secondary burning mouth syndrome.

Underlying problems that may be linked to secondary burning mouth syndrome include:

*Dry mouth (xerostomia), which can be caused by various medications, health problems, problems with salivary gland function or the side effects of cancer treatment

*Other oral conditions, such as a fungal infection of the mouth (oral thrush), an inflammatory condition called oral lichen planus or a condition called geographic tongue that gives the tongue a map-like appearance.

*Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12)

*Dentures, especially if they don’t fit well, which can place stress on some muscles and tissues of your mouth, or if they contain materials that irritate mouth tissues

*Allergies or reactions to foods, food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or dental-work substances

*Reflux of stomach acid (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) that enters your mouth from your stomach

*Certain medications, particularly high blood pressure medications
Oral habits, such as tongue thrusting, biting the tip of the tongue and teeth grinding (bruxism)

*Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

*Excessive mouth irritation, which may result from overbrushing your tongue, using abrasive toothpastes, overusing mouthwashes or having too many acidic drinks

*Psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression or stress.

*There is sometimes a correlation with a major life event or stressful period in life.

*In women, the onset of BMS is most likely three to twelve years following menopause.

Treatment:
Conventional Treatment:
As indicated above, if the doctor diagnoses for secondary BMS, it’s important to treat the underlying causes to provide relief. In the interim, the healthcare team may prescribe:

*Painkillers specially formulated to block nerve pain
*Saliva replacement products
*Oral rinses
*Tricyclic Antidepressants like Elavil
*Cognitive behavioral therapy
*Sedatives like Klonopin
*Anticonvulsants like Neurontin

Many of the typical medications prescribed as a burning mouth treatment have the potential to cause moderate to severe side effects, and some can cause dry mouth. Talk to your healthcare provider about the possible side effects and what to expect by following conventional treatments.

Home Remedies :
Capsaicin Rinse:
In fact, one of the studies found that symptoms improved in 80% of patients who were given capsaicin. The ideal solution, according to various studies, is to start with a 1:2 ratio of hot peppers to water, building to a 1:1 ratio, or the highest concentration that is tolerable to the patient. It is believed that the capsaicin provides a numbing effect, relieving the pain and discomfort for several hours.

To make a capsaicin burning mouth syndrome home treatment, mix two teaspoons water with one teaspoon cayenne pepper extract. Swish around your mouth for 20–40 seconds, or whatever is tolerable, and then spit. Depending on what is tolerable, increase the strength bit by bit until the numbing action takes effect. Be sure that the hands should be thoroughly washed if any of the solution gets on the fingers.

Vitamin B12
As it is understood that one of the potential underlying causes of burning mouth syndrome is a deficiency in vitamin B12. In a study published in the Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, researchers indicated that vitamin B12 reduces abnormally high levels of homocysteine found in burning mouth syndrome patients and that 177 patients out of 399 total patients in the study showed complete remission of all oral symptoms after treatment.

If anyone is experiencing symptoms of burning mouth and any signs of vitamin B12 deficiencies, boosting of intake of B12 is highly recommended. For adults, 2.4 micrograms to 2.8 micrograms daily are the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for B12. In addition to supplementation, adding vitamin B12-rich foods like beef and chicken liver, wild-caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, organic yogurt, turkey or raw milk can help boost your levels naturally. This burning mouth syndrome home remedy may take time to relieve the pain; the study above provided supplementation for patients for 4–8 months.

Iron-Rich Foods:
In addition to a vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiencies are also considered a burning mouth syndrome cause. While iron supplements are available, It is recommended of boosting iron levels by increasing consumption of healthy iron-rich foods and mostly they are as follows:

*Spirulina
*Organic beef liver
*Grass-fed beef
*Lentils
*Dark chocolate
*Spinach
*Sardines
*Black beans
*Pistachios
*Raisins

Zinc:
The RDA for zinc for adults 19 and over is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. In addition to supplementation, adding zinc-rich foods to diet can be helpful. This includes lamb, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cocoa powder, cashews, and kefir or yogurt. Try my Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe to add zinc and capsaicin to diet as a one-two punch for burning mouth syndrome treatment.

Baking Soda:
In order to relieve symptoms of burning mouth syndrome, mix 1/3 cup of warm water with 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda together in a mug. Swirl the mixture around mouth, and if the burning sensation is also in the throat, gargle.

Honey:
Some patients report that placing a ½ teaspoon of local, raw honey on the tongue and swishing it around will temporarily relieve the burning sensation. Dioscorides, a Greek physician, prescribed honey for sunburns and infected wounds as early as 50 A.D. to provide relief and spur healing.

Oil Pulling:
Oil pulling oil can provide some relief.

Stress-Relieving Activities:
Stress, depression and anxiety are not only risk factors for burning mouth syndrome, but also are common after diagnosis. And for a good reason. Constant discomfort and pain take a dramatic toll on psyche and overall mental health. Participating in regular aerobic exercise and activities, including yoga and guided meditation, can help reduce the stress load while you are searching for relief from the symptoms.

Prevention:
There’s no known way to prevent burning mouth syndrome. But by avoiding tobacco, acidic foods, spicy foods and carbonated beverages, and excessive stress, you may be able to reduce the discomfort from burning mouth syndrome or prevent your discomfort from getting worse.

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/Burning_mouth_syndrome
https://draxe.com/burning-mouth-syndrome/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911

Asperger’s Symptoms

Description:
Asperger’s syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that involves delays in the development of basic skills, especially the ability to socialize and communicate with others and use imagination. It often isn’t until a child or adult begins to have serious difficulties in school, the workplace or in his/her personal lives that the disorder can be diagnosed. Many adults receive their diagnosis after seeking help for related issues, such as depression or anxiety.

There are a number of therapy programs that are in place for individuals with Asperger’s symptoms, including cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy sessions. People with Asperger’s can also focus on calming and confidence-boosting activities like yoga and music therapy. There is no cure for Asperger’s syndrome, but there are natural treatments and remedies that have proven to effective — similar to autism natural treatment.

Dr. Asperger’s findings went unnoticed until 1981, when English physician Lorna Wing published a series of case studies involving children with similar symptoms. Wing’s findings were widely published and popularized, and in 1994, Asperger’s syndrome was added to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

In 2015, Asperger’s was estimated to affect 37.2 million people globally. The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, who in 1944 described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication, had limited understanding of others’ feelings, and were physically clumsy. The modern conception of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981 and went through a period of popularization. It became a standardized diagnosis in the early 1990s. Many questions and controversies remain about aspects of the disorder. There is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA). Partly because of this, the percentage of people affected is not firmly established.

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Symptoms:

1. Failure to Develop Friendships:

Children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome may have difficulty connecting with their peers due to a lack of social skills. Social tasks like talking one on one, making eye contact or participating in group activities may be hard for people with Asperger’s, especially because they want to connect with their peers but aren’t comfortable with these types of engagements.

A lack of eye contact may also make people with Asperger’s seem unengaged in a conversation, or they don’t understand the use of gestures and sarcasm, so they appear to be socially awkward. Another Asperger’s symptom is selective mutism, which occurs when young children or adults only speak freely and comfortably with people they know well and not with strangers.

2. Inability to Empathize:

People with Asperger’s find it difficult to empathize or understand the feelings of others. For this reason, they may come off as insensitive, when really they don’t understand the appropriate behaviors in certain situations.

Over time, an individual with Asperger’s learns the accepted social behaviors and responses. Although he/she is reacting appropriately in the moment, he/she may not truly understand why the person is upset.

People with Asperger’s may also have trouble understanding the intent behind another person’s actions, so they may miss humor or unease in someone’s use of words and tone. This is why social interactions can sometimes be too overwhelming for people with Asperger’s — because they cannot see things from another person’s perspective, they aren’t able to predict or understand their actions.

3. Eccentric or Repetitive Behaviors:

According to Autism Speaks, individuals with Asperger’s syndrome can sometimes have a peculiar manner of speaking. Sometimes they speak overly loud or in a monotone voice.

However, people with Asperger’s have good language skills, but they use language in a different way. Their patterns may be unusual, with a rhythmic nature. They may come across as too formal, or their speech may even be high-pitched. Individuals with Asperger’s may also have trouble controlling their emotions, laughing or crying easily and at inappropriate times, and they have motor skill delays, coming across as awkward or clumsy.

4. Narrowed Interest:

A child with Asperger’s may develop a strong, sometimes obsessive interest in a few areas, such as music, weather, math, planes or maps. This serves as the most distinguishing Asperger’s symptom. Children with Asperger’s know everything about their topic of interest, and their conversations with others are about little else. They tend to become exceptionally talented and skilled in this particular area too.

5. Sticking to a Routine or Ritual:

People with Asperger’s sometimes develop a routine or ritual that they refuse to alter. They can become fixated on ensuring that their external environment and daily routines remain constant because sudden changes may exceed their coping mechanisms.

Some people with Asperger’s may experience motor or phonic tics in addition to other behavioral abnormalities. Some researchers believe that this is due to sensory deprivation, which contributes to the development of unusual and sometimes involuntary movements.

Causes:
Hans Asperger described common symptoms among his patients’ family members, especially fathers, and research supports this observation and suggests a genetic contribution to Asperger syndrome. Although no specific gene has yet been identified, multiple factors are believed to play a role in the expression of autism, given the phenotypic variability seen in children with AS. Evidence for a genetic link is the tendency for AS to run in families and an observed higher incidence of family members who have behavioral symptoms similar to AS but in a more limited form (for example, slight difficulties with social interaction, language, or reading). Most behavioral genetic research suggests that all autism spectrum disorders have shared genetic mechanisms, but AS may have a stronger genetic component than autism. There is probably a common group of genes where particular alleles render an individual vulnerable to developing AS; if this is the case, the particular combination of alleles would determine the severity and symptoms for each individual with AS.

A few ASD cases have been linked to exposure to teratogens (agents that cause birth defects) during the first eight weeks from conception. Although this does not exclude the possibility that ASD can be initiated or affected later, it is strong evidence that ASD arises very early in development. Many environmental factors have been hypothesized to act after birth, but none has been confirmed by scientific investigation.

Diagnosis:
Standard diagnostic criteria require impairment in social interaction and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities, and interests, without significant delay in language or cognitive development. Unlike the international standard,[28] the DSM-IV-TR criteria also required significant impairment in day-to-day functioning; DSM-5 eliminated AS as a separate diagnosis in 2013, and folded it into the umbrella of autism spectrum disorders. Other sets of diagnostic criteria have been proposed by Szatmari et al. and by Gillberg and Gillberg.

Diagnosis is most commonly made between the ages of four and eleven. A comprehensive assessment involves a multidisciplinary team that observes across multiple settings, and includes neurological and genetic assessment as well as tests for cognition, psychomotor function, verbal and nonverbal strengths and weaknesses, style of learning, and skills for independent living. The “gold standard” in diagnosing ASDs combines clinical judgment with the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), a semistructured parent interview; and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), a conversation and play-based interview with the child. Delayed or mistaken diagnosis can be traumatic for individuals and families; for example, misdiagnosis can lead to medications that worsen behavior.

Underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis may be problems. The cost and difficulty of screening and assessment can delay diagnosis. Conversely, the increasing popularity of drug treatment options and the expansion of benefits has motivated providers to overdiagnose ASD. There are indications AS has been diagnosed more frequently in recent years, partly as a residual diagnosis for children of normal intelligence who are not autistic but have social difficulties.

There are questions about the external validity of the AS diagnosis. That is, it is unclear whether there is a practical benefit in distinguishing AS from HFA and from PDD-NOS; the same child can receive different diagnoses depending on the screening tool. The debate about distinguishing AS from HFA is partly due to a tautological dilemma where disorders are defined based on severity of impairment, so that studies that appear to confirm differences based on severity are to be expected.

Differential diagnosis:
Many children with AS are initially misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Diagnosing adults is more challenging, as standard diagnostic criteria are designed for children and the expression of AS changes with age. Adult diagnosis requires painstaking clinical examination and thorough medical history gained from both the individual and other people who know the person, focusing on childhood behavior.

Conditions that must be considered in a differential diagnosis along with ADHD include other ASDs, the schizophrenia spectrum, personality disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, semantic pragmatic disorder, nonverbal learning disorder, social anxiety disorder, Tourette syndrome, stereotypic movement disorder, bipolar disorder, social-cognitive deficits due to brain damage from alcohol abuse, and obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).

Treatment:
Asperger syndrome treatment attempts to manage distressing symptoms and to teach age-appropriate social, communication, and vocational skills that are not naturally acquired during development, with intervention tailored to the needs of the individual based on multidisciplinary assessment. Although progress has been made, data supporting the efficacy of particular interventions are limited.

Therapies:
The ideal treatment for AS coordinates therapies that address core symptoms of the disorder, including poor communication skills and obsessive or repetitive routines. While most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better, there is no single best treatment package. AS treatment resembles that of other high-functioning ASDs, except that it takes into account the linguistic capabilities, verbal strengths, and nonverbal vulnerabilities of individuals with AS. A typical program generally includes:

A positive behavior support procedure includes training and support of parents and school faculty in behavior management strategies to use in the home and school;
An applied behavior analysis (ABA) technique called social skills training for more effective interpersonal interactions;

Cognitive behavioral therapy to improve stress management relating to anxiety or explosive emotions and to cut back on obsessive interests and repetitive routines;
Medication for coexisting conditions such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders;

Occupational or physical therapy to assist with poor sensory processing and motor coordination; and,
Social communication intervention, which is specialized speech therapy to help with the pragmatics and give-and-take of normal conversation.

Of the many studies on behavior-based early intervention programs, most are case reports of up to five participants and typically examine a few problem behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, noncompliance, stereotypies, or spontaneous language; unintended side effects are largely ignored. Despite the popularity of social skills training, its effectiveness is not firmly established. A randomized controlled study of a model for training parents in problem behaviors in their children with AS showed that parents attending a one-day workshop or six individual lessons reported fewer behavioral problems, while parents receiving the individual lessons reported less intense behavioral problems in their AS children. Vocational training is important to teach job interview etiquette and workplace behavior to older children and adults with AS, and organization software and personal data assistants can improve the work and life management of people with AS.

Other therapies:
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapeutic practice that helps a person to become more aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so he/she can view challenging situations more clearly, thereby responding to these triggers in a more effective way. This type of therapy helps people with Asperger’s shift the way they interpret situations, how they feel about challenging situations and how they respond to them.

2. Group Programs:

Group programs can be helpful for working on social skills. They also serve as a support system to individuals with Asperger’s and their families. The Asperger/Autism Network, for instance, offers a comprehensive array of programs and services for the Asperger’s community.

3. Speech and Language Therapy:

Speech therapy may be helpful for children with communication difficulties. These difficulties are not how the children speak or pronounce words, but how they perceive the meaning of other people’s words and respond to them.

4. Music Therapy:

Using music to reinforce communication can be helpful for individuals with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Music is used to enhance social skills and communication development, and the positive effects on spoken and gestural communication have been noted in small trial studies.

5. Occupational and Physical Therapy:

Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome may use occupational therapy and physical therapy to maintain their highest level of function in activities of daily living, which includes dressing, bathing, grooming, eating and playing.

Supplements:

6. Vitamin B6/Magnesium

Vitamin B6 and magnesium have been used as a popular treatment for autism and mental health disorders for over 20 years. A 2006 study conducted in France involved 33 children with clinical symptoms of PDD or autism. The children were followed for at least six months. Another group of 36 children was used as the control group.

Researchers found that B6/magnesium supplementation improved PDD symptoms in 23 of 33 children with no adverse side effects — in addition, 23 of 33 experienced improved social reactions and 24 of 33 displayed improved communication.

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular omega-3 fatty acids, are crucial for brain development and cannot be manufactured in the body. Oral supplementation with essential fatty acids has become popular for children with developmental disorders, including those experiencing symptoms of ADHD and autism.

Lifestyle and Diet:

8. Yoga

Yoga increases the sense of well-being and control; it also has the potential to decrease anxiety, reduce aggression and help individuals regulate their emotions. It’s a calm and comfortable atmosphere and allows participants to explore different sensory experiences.

Yoga also facilitates deeper inhaling and exhaling, which calms the nervous system and works as a natural stress reliever. Experiencing a group yoga class can also help people with Asperger’s make new friends and work on their communication skills.

9. Lavender Essential Oil:

Lavender oil has a variety of therapeutic and curative properties. It helps induce relaxation, and studies have shown that it may be an effective treatment of several neurological disorders like Asperger’s Symptoms.

10. Magnesium Foods:

Magnesium-rich foods — such as spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, avocado, figs and bananas — can help fight anxiety and depression. They also increase the production of the antioxidant glutathione and improve nerve function. Making sure to eat at least three servings of vegetables a day can boost one’s daily nutrient intake and provides plenty of vitamins and minerals that may be able to relieve some Asperger’s symptoms.

Medications:
No medications directly treat the core symptoms of AS. Although research into the efficacy of pharmaceutical intervention for AS is limited, it is essential to diagnose and treat comorbid conditions. Deficits in self-identifying emotions or in observing effects of one’s behavior on others can make it difficult for individuals with AS to see why medication may be appropriate. Medication can be effective in combination with behavioral interventions and environmental accommodations in treating comorbid symptoms such as anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, inattention, and aggression. The atypical antipsychotic medications risperidone and olanzapine have been shown to reduce the associated symptoms of AS; risperidone can reduce repetitive and self-injurious behaviors, aggressive outbursts, and impulsivity, and improve stereotypical patterns of behavior and social relatedness. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and sertraline have been effective in treating restricted and repetitive interests and behaviors.

Care must be taken with medications, as side effects may be more common and harder to evaluate in individuals with AS, and tests of drugs’ effectiveness against comorbid conditions routinely exclude individuals from the autism spectrum. Abnormalities in metabolism, cardiac conduction times, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes have been raised as concerns with these medications, along with serious long-term neurological side effects. SSRIs can lead to manifestations of behavioral activation such as increased impulsivity, aggression, and sleep disturbance. Weight gain and fatigue are commonly reported side effects of risperidone, which may also lead to increased risk for extrapyramidal symptoms such as restlessness and dystonia and increased serum prolactin levels. Sedation and weight gain are more common with olanzapine, which has also been linked with diabetes. Sedative side-effects in school-age children have ramifications for classroom learning. Individuals with AS may be unable to identify and communicate their internal moods and emotions or to tolerate side effects that for most people would not be problematic.

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/Asperger_syndrome
https://draxe.com/aspergers-symptoms/

Ascites

Description:
Ascites is a common complication of cirrhosis and is marked by an excessive accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. Generally speaking, fluid retention — including ascites, peripheral edema and pleural effusion — is the most frequent complication of end-stage liver disease.

In approximately 15 percent of cases ascites is caused by certain types of malignancies in the gastrointestinal tract or in the ovaries, Hodgkin’s lymphoma,non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and metastatic carcinoma in the abdominal cavity. It is also linked less often with heart failure, tuberculosis, pancreatitis and even hypothyroidism.

The fluid in the abdominal cavity develops when protein leaks from the liver and the intestines. If it is just a small collection of protein-rich fluids, it may be difficult to detect. However, as more and more fluid leaks into the abdomen, dramatic swelling, discomfort, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and pressure on the lungs may occur.

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There are two main types of ascites and they are:
1. Uncomplicated Ascites:
In this type, the fluids are not infected. This type is broken into three levels:

Grade 1: Mild; an ultrasound is required to detect fluids

Grade 2: Moderate; symmetrical distention and swelling of the abdomen occurs

Grade 3: Severe; large or extreme distention of the abdomen occurs

2.Refractory Ascites:
When fluid buildup cannot be reduced by a low sodium diet or diuretics, it is considered refractory, meaning that more aggressive treatment may be required.

Ascites can occur in children where it is most commonly associated with liver, kidney and heart disorders. The symptoms are similar to those found in adults and treatment is similar.

Signs & Symptoms:
Common symptoms of ascites include:
*Shortness of breath
*A feeling of fullness
*Large belly develops quickly
*Swelling in the ankles and legs
*Indigestion
*Vomiting
*Heartburn
*Loss of appetite
*Nausea
*Hernia
*Abdominal distention with mild to moderate discomfort
*Painful abdominal distention
*Jaundice
*Muscle wasting
*Fever

Causes:

Causes of high serum-ascites albumin gradient (SAAG or transudate) are:

*Cirrhosis – 81% (alcoholic in 65%, viral in 10%, cryptogenic in 6%)
*Heart failure – 3%
*Hepatic venous occlusion: Budd–Chiari syndrome or veno-occlusive disease
*Constrictive pericarditis
*Kwashiorkor (childhood protein-energy malnutrition)
*Causes of low SAAG (“exudate”) are:
*Cancer (metastasis and primary peritoneal carcinomatosis) – 10%
*Infection: Tuberculosis – 2% or spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
*Pancreatitis – 1%
*Serositis
*Nephrotic syndrome
*Hereditary angioedema

Other rare causes:
*Meigs syndrome
*Vasculitis
*Hypothyroidism
*Renal dialysis
*Peritoneum mesothelioma
*Abdominal tuberculosis
*Mastocytosis

Risk Factors:
*Alcohol consumption
*Low protein diet
*History of jaundice
*History of chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C
*Obesity
*Hypercholesterolaemia
*Type 2 diabetes
*Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
*Cardiac disease
*Certain types of cancer
*Kidney disease

Diagnosis:
Routine complete blood count (CBC), basic metabolic profile, liver enzymes, and coagulation should be performed. Most experts recommend a diagnostic paracentesis be performed if the ascites is new or if the patient with ascites is being admitted to the hospital. The fluid is then reviewed for its gross appearance, protein level, albumin, and cell counts (red and white). Additional tests will be performed if indicated such as microbiological culture, Gram stain and cytopathology.

The serum-ascites albumin gradient (SAAG) is probably a better discriminant than older measures (transudate versus exudate) for the causes of ascites.[8] A high gradient (> 1.1 g/dL) indicates the ascites is due to portal hypertension. A low gradient (< 1.1 g/dL) indicates ascites of non-portal hypertensive as a cause.

Ultrasound investigation is often performed prior to attempts to remove fluid from the abdomen. This may reveal the size and shape of the abdominal organs, and Doppler studies may show the direction of flow in the portal vein, as well as detecting Budd-Chiari syndrome (thrombosis of the hepatic vein) and portal vein thrombosis. Additionally, the sonographer can make an estimation of the amount of ascitic fluid, and difficult-to-drain ascites may be drained under ultrasound guidance. An abdominal CT scan is a more accurate alternate to reveal abdominal organ structure and morphology.

Treatment:
Ascites is generally treated while an underlying cause is sought, in order to prevent complications, relieve symptoms, and prevent further progression. In patients with mild ascites, therapy is usually as an outpatient. The goal is weight loss of no more than 1.0 kg/day for patients with both ascites and peripheral edema and no more than 0.5 kg/day for patients with ascites alone. In those with severe ascites causing a tense abdomen, hospitalization is generally necessary for paracentesis.

Natural Ascites Treatments:
*Restrict salt intake and focus on following a diet designed for high blood pressure.
*Eat fresh vegetables and fruit, lean proteins, organic dairy products and sprouted whole grains.

*Eat small meals, more often. High-protein smoothies and nutrient-dense small snacks and meals derived from plant sources may help relieve some symptoms while keeping you satiated.

*Avoid toxins and chemicals by eating organic foods whenever possible.

*Drink coconut water if you are on a liquid-limiting diet. It doesn’t take as much coconut water to keep you properly hydrated.

*Drink dandelion root tea to increase urinary frequency and volume, which helps to reduce edema and fluid retention.

*Take Branched Chain Amino Acids and increase BCAA through diet by eating more grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, raw grass-fed cheese, ancient grains like quinoa and high-quality whey protein.

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/Ascites
https://draxe.com/ascites/