Category Archives: Ailmemts & Remedies

Dry eye syndrome

Description:
Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition caused by a poor quality of tears or an inadequate quantity of tears. Tears are necessary to keep the surface of the eye properly lubricated, keeping it moist and free from dust and other particulates.

In healthy eyes, basal tears continuously wet the cornea with every blink. This nourishes the cornea and provides a liquid layer of protection from a variety of environmental factors. When glands fail to produce enough tears, eye health and vision may become compromised. Tears on the surface of the eye also play a vital role in focusing light. Dryness of the eye may cause focusing and overall vision problems.

Tears are composed of water, mucus, fatty oils and over 1,500 different proteins that lubricate the eye. Along with inadequate production of tears, if the composition of the tears becomes imbalanced, dry eye symptoms may occur.

The risk for developing dry eye syndrome increases with age, and women have a higher prevalence of this condition compared to men. Certain medications and certain underlying health conditions may cause it, resulting in the bothersome symptoms including scratchy, burning, itchy, red, weeping and tearing eyes.

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Symptoms:
*Itchiness ranging from mild to severe

*Excessive tearing

*Weeping of mucus

*Stringy mucus upon waking or during the day

*Burning sensation

*Stinging

*Redness

*Feeling something is in the eye

*Eyelids feel heavy

*Blurred vision

*Sensitivity to light

*Difficulty wearing contact lenses

*Difficulty driving at night

*Eye Fatigue

Causes:
Dry eyes are caused by a lack of adequate tears. Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eyes from infection.

For some people, the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production. For others it’s increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears.

Decreased tear production:

Dry eyes can occur when you’re unable to produce enough tears. The medical term for this condition is keratoconjunctivitis sicca (ker-uh-toe-kun-junk-tih-VY-tis SIK-uh). Common causes of decreased tear production include:

Aging:
*Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency

*Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, and drugs for high blood pressure, acne, birth control and Parkinson’s disease

*Laser eye surgery, though symptoms of dry eyes related to this procedure are usually temporary

*Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation

*Increased tear evaporation

Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:

*Wind, smoke or dry air

*Blinking less often, which tends to occur when you’re concentrating, for example, while reading, driving or working at a computer

*Eyelid problems, such as out-turning of the lids (ectropion) and in-turning of the lids (entropion)

*Imbalance in tear composition

The tear film has three basic layers: oil, water and mucus. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes. For example, the oil film produced by small glands on the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands) might become clogged. Blocked meibomian glands are more common in people with inflammation along the edge of their eyelids (blepharitis), rosacea or other skin disorders.

Risk factors:

Factors that make it more likely that you’ll experience dry eyes include:

*Being older than 50. Tear production tends to diminish as you get older. Dry eyes are more common in people over 50.

*Being a woman. A lack of tears is more common in women, especially if they experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, using birth control pills or menopause.

*Eating a diet that is low in vitamin A, which is found in liver, carrots and broccoli, or low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts and vegetable oils

*Wearing contact lenses

Diagnosis:
If your eyes feel dry and you suddenly find yourself unable to see as well as you used to, visit an ophthalmologist right away. After describing your symptoms, you’ll likely undergo tests that examine the amount of tears in your eyes, such as a slit lamp, or biomicroscope, exam of your tears. For this test, your doctor will use a dye such as fluorescein to make the tear film on your eyes more visible.

A Schirmer’s test may also be used to measure how quickly your eyes produce tears. This tests your rate of tear production using a paper wick placed on the edge of your eyelid. Your eye doctor also might refer you to a specialist. Which doctor they’ll refer you to depends on the underlying cause of your condition. For example, they can refer you to an allergist if you have chronic allergies.

Treatment:
Artificial Tears:
Eye drops that increase your eye moisture are among the most common treatments for dry eye syndrome. Artificial tears also work well for some people.

Lacrimal Plugs:
Your eye doctor might use plugs to block the drainage holes in the corners of your eyes. This is a relatively painless, reversible procedure that slows tear loss. If your condition is severe, the plugs may be recommended as a permanent solution.

Medications:
The medication most commonly prescribed for dry eye syndrome is an anti-inflammatory called cyclosporine (Restasis). The drug increases the amount of tears in your eyes and lowers the risk of damage to your cornea. If your case of dry eye is severe, you may need to use corticosteroid eye drops for a short time while the medication takes effect. Alternative medications include cholinergics such as pilocarpine. These medications help stimulate tear production.

If another medication is causing your eyes to become dry, your doctor may switch your prescription to try to find one that doesn’t dry out your eyes.

Nutrition:
You need a well-balanced diet with enough protein and vitamins to keep your eyes healthy. Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplements are sometimes recommended to enhance the oil content of the eye. Usually, people need to take these supplements regularly for at least three months to see an improvement.

Surgery:
If you have severe dry eye syndrome and it doesn’t go away with other treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery. The drainage holes at the inner corners of your eyes may be permanently plugged to allow your eyes to maintain an adequate amount of tears.

Home Care:
If you tend to have dry eyes, use a humidifier to increase moisture in the room and avoid dry climates. Limit your contact lens wear and the time you spend in front of the computer or television.

Prevention:
If you experience dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations in order to prevent your dry eyes symptoms. For instance:

*Avoid air blowing in your eyes. Don’t direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes.

*Add moisture to the air. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.

*Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of eyeglasses to block wind and dry air. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses.

*Take eye breaks during long tasks. If you’re reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, take periodic eye breaks. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.

*Be aware of your environment. The air at high altitudes, in desert areas and in airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.

*Position your computer screen below eye level. If your computer screen is above eye level, you’ll open your eyes wider to view the screen. Position your computer screen below eye level so that you won’t open your eyes as wide. This may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.

*Stop smoking and avoid smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor for help devising a quit-smoking strategy that’s most likely to work for you. If you don’t smoke, stay away from people who do. Smoke can worsen dry eyes symptoms.

*Use artificial tears regularly. If you have chronic dry eyes, use eyedrops even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated.

*Wash your eyes with freah cold water everytime you come back home from outside.

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://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371863
https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-eye-syndrome#diagnosis
https://draxe.com/dry-eye-syndrome/

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Degenerative Disc Disease

Description:
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) describes the natural breakdown of an intervertebral disc of the spine. Despite its name, DDD is not considered a disease, nor is it progressively degenerative. On the contrary, disc degeneration is often the effect of natural daily stresses and minor injuries that cause spinal discs to gradually lose water as the anulus fibrosus, or the rigid outer shell of a disc, weakens. As discs weaken and lose water, they begin to collapse. This can result in pressure being put on the nerves in the spinal column, causing pain and weakness.

Spinal disks are like shock absorbers between the vertebrae, or bones, of your spine. They help your back stay flexible, so you can bend and twist. As you get older, they can show signs of wear and tear. They begin to break down and may not work as well.

Nearly everyone’s disks break down over time, but not everyone feels pain. If worn-out spinal disks are the reason you’re hurting, you have degenerative disk disease.

While not always symptomatic, DDD can cause acute or chronic low back or neck pain as well as nerve pain depending on the location of the affected disc and the amount of pressure it places on the surrounding nerve roots.

The typical radiographic findings in DDD are black discs, disc space narrowing, vacuum disc, end plate sclerosis, and osteophyte formation.

DDD can greatly affect quality of life. Disc degeneration is a disease of micro/macro trauma and of aging, and though for most people is not a problem, in certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe chronic pain if left untreated.

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Symptoms:
Common signs include pain that:

*Is in your lower back, buttocks, or upper thighs

*Comes and goes. It can be nagging or severe, and can last from a few days to a few months.

*Feels worse when you sit, and better when you move and walk

*Feels worse when you bend, lift, or twist

*Gets better when you change positions or lie down

Some people have nerve endings that penetrate more deeply into the anulus fibrosus (outer layer of the disc) than others, making discs more likely to generate pain. In the alternative, the healing of trauma to the outer anulus fibrosus may result in the innervation of the scar tissue and pain impulses from the disc, as these nerves become inflamed by nucleus pulposus material. Degenerative disc disease can lead to a chronic debilitating condition and can have a serious negative impact on a person’s quality of life. When pain from degenerative disc disease is severe, traditional nonoperative treatment may be ineffective.

In some cases, degenerative disk disease can lead to numbness and tingling in your arms and legs. It can also cause your leg muscles to become weak. This means the damaged disks may be affecting the nerves near your spine.

Causes:
The term, degenerative disc disease is a slight misnomer because it is not technically a disease, nor is it strictly degenerative. It is not considered a disease because degenerative changes in the spine are natural and common in the general population.

There is a disc between each of the vertebrae in the spine. A healthy, well-hydrated disc will contain a great deal of water in its center, known as the nucleus pulposus, which provides cushioning and flexibility for the spine. Much of the mechanical stress that is caused by everyday movements is transferred to the discs within the spine and the water content within them allows them to effectively absorb the shock. At birth, a typical human nucleus pulposus will contain about 80% water. However natural daily stresses and minor injuries can cause these discs to gradually lose water as the anulus fibrosus, or the rigid outer shell of a disc, weakens.

This water loss makes the discs less flexible and results in the gradual collapse and narrowing of the gap in the spinal column. As the space between vertebrae gets smaller, extra pressure can be placed on the discs causing tiny cracks or tears to appear in the anulus. If enough pressure is exerted, it’s possible for the nucleus pulposus material to seep out through the tears in the anulus and can cause what is known as a herniated disc.

As the two vertebrae above and below the affected disc begin to collapse upon each other, the facet joints at the back of the spine are forced to shift which can affect their function.

Additionally, the body can react to the closing gap between vertebrae by creating bone spurs around the disc space in an attempt to stop excess motion. This can cause issues if the bone spurs start to grow into the spinal canal and put pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerve roots as it can cause pain and affect nerve function. This condition is called spinal stenosis.

For women, there is good evidence that menopause and related estrogen-loss are associated with lumbar disc degeneration, usually occurring during the first 15 years of the climacteric. It has a potential role of sex hormones in degenerative skeletal disorders.

Degenerative disc disease can also occur in other mammals besides humans. It is a common problem in several dog variants and attempts to remove this disease from dog populations have led to several crosses, such as the Chiweenie.

The stress of everyday movements and minor injuries over the years can cause tiny tears in the outer wall, which contains nerves. Any tears near the nerves can become painful. And if the wall breaks down, the disk’s soft core may push through the cracks. The disk may bulge, or slip out of place, which is called a slipped or herniated disk. It can affect nearby nerves.

Risk Factors:
The most common of degenerative disc disease causes is aging. As you grow older, the protein and water makeup of your cartilage changes. That makes your spinal discs more fragile, subjecting them to more wear and tear.

The more damage they take, the more likely it is that you’re going to start feeling pain in your back. The sooner you go to your doctor and get diagnosed, the better.

Inflammation is another cause that you need to be aware of. As the disc deteriorates, the inflammatory proteins can leak out into the spinal column itself.

They cause swelling and muscle tension in the spinal structures, creating more pain in the area. In fact, inflammation can be seen as the cause of many different back and spinal issues.

Hereditary  effect:
There is some evidence to suggest that you can inherit a predisposition to developing a degenerative bone disease or disc disease. A study indicated that if you have a parent or grandparent with the disease, then you could be more likely to develop it yourself. However, the scientists behind the study say that this may be down to environmental reasons, rather than genetics, and more research needs to be done.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis of degenerative disc disease will usually consist of an analysis of a patient’s individual medical history, a physical exam designed to reveal muscle weakness, tenderness or poor range of motion, and an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other causes.

Treatment:
In the begining the doctor prescribe some pain killers & physiotherapy. Degenerative disc disease treatment can sometimes include steroid shots. These are most commonly administered into the epidural space in your back, or a nerve or muscle, depending on where the pain is. Your doctor would be able to tell you if this treatment is right.

Finally, if these methods aren’t working, then your doctor may recommend surgery. This can be done to remove the damaged part of the disc, taking the pressure off your back and relieving pain. If the disc is particularly damaged, then they may even remove it entirely and insert an artificial one.

Traditional approaches in treating patients with DDD-resultant herniated discs oftentimes include discectomy — which, in essence, is a spine-related surgical procedure involving the removal of damaged intervertebral discs (either whole removal, or partially-based). The former of these two discectomy techniques involved in open discectomy is known as Subtotal Discectomy (SD; or, aggressive discectomy) and the latter, Limited Discectomy (LD; or, conservative discectomy). However, with either technique, the probability of post-operative reherniation exists and at a considerably high maximum of 21%, prompting patients to potentially undergo recurrent disk surgery.

New treatments are emerging that are still in the beginning clinical trial phases. Glucosamine injections may offer pain relief for some without precluding the use of more aggressive treatment options. In the US, artificial disc replacement is viewed cautiously as a possible alternative to fusion in carefully selected patients, yet it is widely used in a broader range of cases in Europe, where multi-level disc replacement of the cervical and lumbar spine is common. Adult stem cell therapies for disc regeneration are in their infancy, however initial clinical trials have shown cell transplantation to be safe and initial observations suggest some beneficial effects for associated pain and disability. Investigation into mesenchymal stem cell therapy knife-less fusion of vertebrae in the United States began in 2006.

Researchers and surgeons alike have conducted clinical and basic science studies to uncover the regenerative capacity possessed by the large animal species involved (humans and quadrupeds) for potential therapies to treat the disease. Some therapies, carried out by research laboratories in New York, include introduction of biologically-engineered, injectable riboflavin cross-linked high density collagen (HDC-laden) gels into disease spinal segments to induce regeneration, ultimately restoring functionality and structure to the two main inner and outer components of vertebral discs — anulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus.

REGULAR YOGA EXERCISE  &  MEDITATION (BREATHING EXERCISE) UNDER AN EXPERT  MAY GIVE LOT OF RELIEF 

CLICK & SEE THE THREE  YOGA EXERCISE FOR DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE:

1.CHILD’S POPSE

2. DOWNWARD -FACED DOG POSE

3.CAT & COW POSE

Prognosis:
If you’ve been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and not been treated properly, then you’ll be living with it for life. The good news is that there are options for treating the symptoms. Many people today live their normal lives with the disease, using a combination of treatments that help them manage the symptoms.

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://www.webmd.com/back-pain/degenerative-disk-disease-overview#1
https://draxe.com/degenerative-disc-disease/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerative_disc_disease

Clostridium difficile

Description:
Clostridium difficile often called C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

C diff is a type of bacteria that causes inflammation and infection of the colon, known as colitis. C diff is also a shortened way of referring to the infection itself. Clostridium difficile colitis is the full name for the colon infection caused by C diff bacterium. This strain of bacteria can cause symptoms in the body ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening cases of C diff colitis or C diff infection

Illness from C. difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications. However, studies show increasing rates of C. difficile infection among people traditionally not considered high risk, such as younger and healthy individuals without a history of antibiotic use or exposure to health care facilities.

Each year in the United States, about a half million people get sick from C. difficile, and in recent years, C. difficile infections have become more frequent, severe and difficult to treat.

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, healthcare-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

With a C. diff infection, the colon becomes inflamed, which is medically referred to as colitis. Sometimes the colon become even more damaged by the release of toxins from the the overgrowth of the C diff bacteria. If this happens, the colon can develop patches of raw tissue that may bleed or pus, which is called pseudomembranous colitis. There are also a greater number of symptoms and more severe symptoms if a C diff infection escalates to this level. Most of the time, pseudomembranous colitis is caused by C diff.

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

With severe cases, it’s common for people to become so dehydrated (from all that diarrhea) that they need to go to the hospital.

Causes:
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.

So when does C. diff bacteria become problematic and also symptomatic? It’s when C. diff is not kept under control and begins to overgrow. Antibiotics are the most common reason that this can occur since antibiotics not only kill the bacteria they are aiming to kill, but also all the good bacteria as well. Antibiotics that most commonly lead to C diff infections include fluoroquinolones, penicillins, cephalosporins, and clindamycin.

C diff is definitely contagious. Spores from C diff bacteria are passed in the feces and then can spread to food, objects and surfaces when infected individuals do not thoroughly wash their hands after going to the bathroom. If you touch something that has been contaminated with the C diff spores then you may end up unintentionally and unknowingly swallowing the C diff bacteria. Hospitals and long-term care facilities are especially problematic because healthcare workers can unintentionally spread C diff between patients if they do not properly wash their hands after caring for each patient. The other tricky fact about C diff spores is that they can live on objects and surfaces outside of the body for weeks or even months.

Risk Factors:
*Antibiotic use (absolutely the #1 risk factor) especially a broad-spectrum antibiotic or any antibiotic used for an extended period of time

*Hospitalization

*Living in a nursing home or extended-care facility

*Gastrointestinal tract surgery

*Abdominal surgery that requires moving the intestines aside

*Living in a nursing home or extended-care facility

*Colon health issues such as inflammatory bowel syndrome or colorectal cancer

*Having a weakened immune system

*Previous C. diff. infection

*Being 65 years of age or older

Some studies have also shown that stomach acid-reducing drugs, especially proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, may likely play a role in the recurrence of C diff infections.

Diagnosis:

Doctors often suspect C. difficile in anyone with diarrhea who has taken antibiotics within the past two months or when diarrhea develops a few days after hospitalization. In such cases, you’re likely to have one or more of the following tests.

Stool tests:

Toxins produced by C. difficile bacteria can usually be detected in a sample of your stool. Several main types of lab tests exist, and they include:

*Enzyme immunoassay. The enzyme immunoassay (EIA) test is faster than other tests but isn’t sensitive enough to detect many infections and has a higher rate of falsely normal tests.

*Polymerase chain reaction. This sensitive molecular test can rapidly detect the C. difficile toxin B gene in a stool sample and is highly accurate.

*GDH/EIA. Some hospitals use a glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) in conjuction with an EIA test. GDH is a very sensitive assay and can accurately rule out the presence of C. difficile in stool samples.

*Cell cytotoxicity assay. A cytotoxicity test looks for the effects of the C. difficile toxin on human cells grown in a culture. This type of test is sensitive, but it is less widely available, more cumbersome to do and requires 24 to 48 hours for test results. Some hospitals use both the EIA test and cell cytotoxicity assay to ensure accurate results.

Testing for C. difficile is unnecessary if you’re not having diarrhea or watery stools, and is not helpful for follow-up treatment.

Colon examination:

In rare instances, to help confirm a diagnosis of C. difficile infection and look for alternatives, your doctor may examine the inside of your colon. This test (flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy) involves inserting a flexible tube with a small camera on one end into your colon to look for areas of inflammation and pseudomembranes.

Imaging tests:

If your doctor is concerned about possible complications of C. difficile, he or she may order an abdominal X-ray or a computerized tomography (CT) scan, which provides images of your colon. The scan can detect the presence of complications such as thickening of the colon wall, expanding of the bowel, or more rarely, a hole (perforation) in the lining of your colon.

Treatment:

The first step in treating C. difficile is to stop taking the antibiotic that triggered the infection, when possible. Depending on the severity of your infection, treatment may include:

Antibiotics. Ironically, the standard treatment for C. difficile is another antibiotic. These antibiotics keep C. difficile from growing, which in turn treats diarrhea and other complications.

For mild to moderate infection, doctors usually prescribe metronidazole (Flagyl), taken by mouth. Metronidazole is not approved by the FDA for C. difficile infection, but has been shown to be effective in mild to moderate infection. Side effects of metronidazole include nausea and a bitter taste in your mouth.

For more severe and recurrent cases, vancomycin (Vancocin), also taken by mouth, may be prescribed.

Another oral antibiotic, fidaxomicin (Dificid), has been approved to treat C. difficile. In one study, the recurrence rate of C. difficile in people who took fidaxomicin was lower than among those who took vancomycin. However, fidaxomicin costs considerably more than metronidazole and vancomycin. Common side effects of vancomycin and fidaxomicin include abdominal pain and nausea.

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.

Surgery. For people with severe pain, organ failure, toxic megacolon or inflammation of the lining of the abdominal wall, surgery to remove the diseased portion of the colon may be the only option.

Natural Treatments for Mild C Dif:

1. Stop Antibiotics Whenever Possible

2. Load Up On Good Bacteria
Eat some top probiotic foods that buids up good bacria is 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 you buy a raw variety with the “mother” intact, which means it still contains all its beneficial compounds including probiotics.

3. Avoid or Reduce Certain Foods.
As follows:
*Dairy products have been known to cause additional gastrointestinal upset and lactose intolerance has also been known to occur during a C diff infection.

*Greasy, fatty foods and processed foods that are not easy on the digestive system and may lead to more diarrhea.

*Some foods that are definitely healthy but may cause extra bloating, gas and discomfort such as cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cabbage), onions, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

*Raw fruits and veggies so cook them to reduce the likelihood of bloating effects

*Processed fat-free foods like Olestra, which have been known to cause more bloating and increased bouts of diarrhea.

*Spicy foods which are known to increase symptoms.

*Large quantities of caffeine since caffeine has diuretic effects, can bother the GI tract and lengthen recovery from infection

4. Thorough Hand Washing

5. Shut the Lid:
Another smart habit to get into if you want to prevent reinfection or the spread of C diff is to close the lid of the toilet before you flush.

6. Consume Natural Antibiotics
As follows:
*Manuka honey

*Raw garlic: Garlic inherently has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. For general health promotion for adults, the WHO actually recommends incorporatin

*Oil of Oregano

*Fecal Transplant (Surgical)
The CDC website states, ” Transplanting stool from a healthy person to the colon of a patient with repeat C. difficile infections has been shown to successfully treat C. difficile. These “fecal transplants” appear to be the most effective method for helping patients with repeat C. difficile infections. This procedure may not be widely available and its long term safety has not been established.”

On average, fecal transplantation is said to result in a 91 to 93 percent cure rate while some studies have even shown a 100 percent cure rate when fresh fecal microbiota is used.

*Fecal Transplant (Oral)
If you’re suffering from reoccurring C. difficile infections there is a less invasive fecal transplant option. Recently, successful fecal transplants have been performed by encapsulating healthy freeze-dried fecal matter and having patients ingest the capsules. A 2017 study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that just one administration of the capsules to 49 patients with reoccurring C diff resulted in 88 percent of the patients achieving “clinical success”, which was said to be no recurrence of C diff infection over a two month time period.

Prognosis:
After a first treatment with metronidazole or vancomycin, C. difficile recurs in about 20% of people. This increases to 40% and 60% with subsequent recurrences.

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://draxe.com/c-diff/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/c-difficile/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351697
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridium_difficile_infection

Chagas Disease

Description:
Chagas disease is an inflammatory, infectious disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is found in the feces of the triatomine (reduviid) bug. It is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the protist Trypanosoma cruzi. It is spread mostly by insects known as Triatominae, or “kissing bugs”. Chagas disease is common in South America, Central America and Mexico, the primary home of the triatomine bug. Rare cases of Chagas disease have been found in the southern United States, as well.

Also called American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease can infect anyone. Left untreated, Chagas disease later can cause serious heart and digestive problems.

Treatment of Chagas disease focuses on killing the parasite in acute infection and managing signs and symptoms in later stages. You can take steps to prevent the infection, too.

Experts estimate that up to eight million people living in Mexico, Central America, and South America — the areas where the infection occurs most often — currently have Chagas disease. In the U.S Chagas disease is not considered to be endemic. This means it’s not regularly found among people living in any certain area. For this reason, in the U.S. “control strategies” to reduce the spread of the disease are the main focus. These can include: preventing transmission from blood transfusions or organ transplants, educating the public on symptoms to look out for, and reducing mother-to-baby transmission of the disease.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Symptoms:
The human disease occurs in two stages: an acute stage, which occurs shortly after an initial infection, and a chronic stage that develops over many years.

Chagas disease can cause a sudden, brief illness (acute), or it may be a long-lasting (chronic) condition. Symptoms range from mild to severe, although many people don’t experience symptoms until the chronic stage.

Acute phase:

The acute phase of Chagas disease, which lasts for weeks or months, is often symptom-free. When signs and symptoms do occur, they are usually mild and may include:

*Swelling at the infection site

*Fever

*Fatigue

*Rash

*Body aches

*Eyelid swelling

*Headache

*Loss of appetite

*Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting

*Swollen glands

*Enlargement of your liver or spleen

Signs and symptoms that develop during the acute phase usually go away on their own. If left untreated, the infection persists and, in some cases, advances to the chronic phase.

Chronic phase:

Signs and symptoms of the chronic phase of Chagas disease may occur 10 to 20 years after initial infection, or they may never occur. In severe cases, however, Chagas disease signs and symptoms may include:

*Irregular heartbeat

*Congestive heart failure

*Sudden cardiac arrest

*Difficulty swallowing due to enlarged esophagus

*Abdominal pain or constipation due to enlarged colon

In the early stage, symptoms are typically either not present or mild, and may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, or local swelling at the site of the bite. After 8–12 weeks, individuals enter the chronic phase of disease and in 60–70% it never produces further symptoms. The other 30–40% of people develop further symptoms 10–30 years after the initial infection, including enlargement of the ventricles of the heart in 20–30%, leading to heart failure. An enlarged esophagus or an enlarged colon may also occur in 10% of people.

Causes:
The cause of Chagas disease is the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted from an insect known as the triatomine bug. These insects can become infected by T. cruzi when they ingest blood from an animal already infected with the parasite.

Triatomine bugs live primarily in mud, thatch or adobe huts in Mexico, South America and Central America. They hide in crevices in the walls or roof during the day, then come out at night — often feeding on sleeping humans.

Infected bugs defecate after feeding, leaving behind T. cruzi parasites on the skin. The parasites can then enter your body through your eyes, mouth, a cut or scratch, or the wound from the bug’s bite.

Scratching or rubbing the bite site helps the parasites enter your body. Once in your body, the parasites multiply and spread.

You may also become infected by:

*Eating uncooked food contaminated with feces from T. cruzi-infected bugs

*Being born to a woman infected with T. cruzi

*Having a blood transfusion containing infected blood

*Getting an organ transplant containing viable T. cruzi

*Working in a laboratory where there’s an accidental exposure to the parasite

*Spending time in a forest that contains infected wild animals, such as raccoons and opossums

*From consuming contaminated food or water. It’s possible for bugs carrying the parasite to make their way into food or water. Or they may leave behind feces that is carrying the parasite.

Risk factors:

The following factors may increase your risk of getting Chagas disease:

*Living in impoverished rural areas of Central America, South America and Mexico

*Living in a residence that contains triatomine bugs

*Receiving a blood transfusion or organ transplant from a person who carries the infection

*It’s rare for travelers to the at-risk areas in South America, Central America and Mexico to contract Chagas disease because travelers tend to stay in well-constructed buildings, such as hotels. Triatomine bugs are usually found in structures built with mud or adobe or thatch.

Diagnosis:
The presence of T. cruzi is diagnostic of Chagas disease. It can be detected by microscopic examination of fresh anticoagulated blood, or its buffy coat, for motile parasites; or by preparation of thin and thick blood smears stained with Giemsa, for direct visualization of parasites. Microscopically, T. cruzi can be confused with Trypanosoma rangeli, which is not known to be pathogenic in humans. Isolation of T. cruzi can occur by inoculation into mice, by culture in specialized media (for example, NNN, LIT); and by xenodiagnosis, where uninfected Reduviidae bugs are fed on the patient’s blood, and their gut contents examined for parasites.

Various immunoassays for T. cruzi are available and can be used to distinguish among strains (zymodemes of T.cruzi with divergent pathogenicities). These tests include: detecting complement fixation, indirect hemagglutination, indirect fluorescence assays, radioimmunoassays, and ELISA. Alternatively, diagnosis and strain identification can be made using polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Treatment:
There are two approaches to treating Chagas disease: antiparasitic treatment, to kill the parasite; and symptomatic treatment, to manage the symptoms and signs of the infection. Management uniquely involves addressing selective incremental failure of the parasympathetic nervous system. Autonomic disease imparted by Chagas may eventually result in megaesophagus, megacolon and accelerated dilated cardiomyopathy. The mechanisms that explain why Chagas targets the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system and spares the sympathetic autonomic nervous system remain poorly understood.

Medication:
Antiparasitic treatment is most effective early in the course of infection, but is not limited to cases in the acute phase. Drugs of choice include azole or nitro derivatives, such as benznidazole or nifurtimox. Both agents are limited in their capacity to completely eliminate T. cruzi from the body (parasitologic cure), especially in chronically infected patients, and resistance to these drugs has been reported.

Studies suggest antiparasitic treatment leads to parasitological cure in more than 90% of infants but only about 60–85% of adults treated in the first year of acute phase Chagas disease. Children aged six to 12 years with chronic disease have a cure rate of about 60% with benznidazole. While the rate of cure declines the longer an adult has been infected with Chagas, treatment with benznidazole has been shown to slow the onset of heart disease in adults with chronic Chagas infections.

Treatment of chronic infection in women prior to or during pregnancy does not appear to reduce the probability the disease will be passed on to the infant. Likewise, it is unclear whether prophylactic treatment of chronic infection is beneficial in persons who will undergo immunosuppression (for example, organ transplant recipients) or in persons who are already immunosuppressed (for example, those with HIV infection).

Complications:
In the chronic stage, treatment involves managing the clinical manifestations of the disease. For example, pacemakers and medications for irregular heartbeats, such as the anti-arrhythmia drug amiodarone, may be life saving for some patients with chronic cardiac disease, while surgery may be required for megaintestine. The disease cannot be cured in this phase, however. Chronic heart disease caused by Chagas disease is now a common reason for heart transplantation surgery. Until recently, however, Chagas disease was considered a contraindication for the procedure, since the heart damage could recur as the parasite was expected to seize the opportunity provided by the immunosuppression that follows surgery.

Prevention:
There is currently no vaccine against Chagas disease.[29] Prevention is generally focused on decreasing the numbers of the insect that spreads it (Triatoma) and decreasing their contact with humans. This is done by using sprays and paints containing insecticides (synthetic pyrethroids), and improving housing and sanitary conditions in rural areas.[30] For urban dwellers, spending vacations and camping out in the wilderness or sleeping at hostels or mud houses in endemic areas can be dangerous; a mosquito net is recommended. Some measures of vector control include:

A yeast trap can be used for monitoring infestations of certain species of triatomine bugs (Triatoma sordida, Triatoma brasiliensis, Triatoma pseudomaculata, and Panstrongylus megistus).

Promising results were gained with the treatment of vector habitats with the fungus Beauveria bassiana.
Targeting the symbionts of Triatominae through paratransgenesis can be done.

A number of potential vaccines are currently being tested. Vaccination with Trypanosoma rangeli has produced positive results in animal models. More recently, the potential of DNA vaccines for immunotherapy of acute and chronic Chagas disease is being tested by several research groups.

Blood transfusion was formerly the second-most common mode of transmission for Chagas disease, but the development and implementation of blood bank screening tests has dramatically reduced this risk in the 21st century. Blood donations in all endemic Latin American countries undergo Chagas screening, and testing is expanding in countries, such as France, Spain and the United States, that have significant or growing populations of immigrants from endemic areas. In Spain, donors are evaluated with a questionnaire to identify individuals at risk of Chagas exposure for screening tests.

The US FDA has approved two Chagas tests, including one approved in April 2010, and has published guidelines that recommend testing of all donated blood and tissue products. While these tests are not required in US, an estimated 75–90% of the blood supply is currently tested for Chagas, including all units collected by the American Red Cross, which accounts for 40% of the U.S. blood supply. The Chagas Biovigilance Network reports current incidents of Chagas-positive blood products in the United States, as reported by labs using the screening test approved by the FDA in 2007.

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/Chagas_disease
https://draxe.com/chagas-disease/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chagas-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20356212

Temporal Arteritis

Description:
Temporal arteritis is inflammation of the arteries in the head and neck. In most cases, the arteries that pass through the temples are affected, hence the name. The condition is also called giant cell arteritis (GCA), Horton disease and cranial arteritis. In some cases, medium and large arteries in the shoulders, arms and other parts of the body are also affected.

The condition causes swelling and damage in the blood vessels, making it hard for blood to pass through to the brain and other parts of the body. This can cause serious health problems, such as blindness and stroke.

Temporal arteritis diagnosis should not be done on your own, since it shares symptoms with many other conditions. You should see a healthcare professional if you have any symptoms of temporal arteritis.

Thankfully, certain tests can help distinguish between this disease and many problems that cause similar symptoms, such as migraines. You can expect a physical exam, blood tests, an ultrasound and a temporal artery biopsy to get a diagnosis. MRIs can also detect temporal arteritis.

The journal Arthritis & Rheumatology states that approximately 228,000 people in the United States are affected by temporal arteritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, people over the age of 50 are more likely than younger people to develop the condition. Women are also more likely than men to have temporal arteritis. It is most prevalent in people of northern European or Scandinavian descent.

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Symptoms:
The symptoms of temporal arteritis can include:

*Double vision
*Sudden, permanent loss of vision in one eye
*A throbbing headache that’s usually in the temples
*Fatigue
*Weakness
*Loss of appetite
*Jaw pain, which sometimes can occur with chewing
*Fever
*Unintentional weight loss
*Shoulder pain, hip pain, and stiffness
*Tenderness in the scalp and temple areas

These symptoms can also occur due to other conditions. One should call the doctor anytime he or she is worried about any symptoms experiencing.

Causes:
The exact cause of temporal arteritis is unknown. It is possibly linked with the body’s immune system health. In rare cases, it has been linked to having certain severe infections or taking high doses of antibiotics.

Risk Factors:
*Being 50 or older
*Being a woman
*Having a low body mass index (BMI)
*Starting menopause before age 43
*Having polymyalgia rheumatica
*Being of northern European or Scandinavian descent
*Having a family history of the condition
*Smoking or being an ex-smoker

Diagnosis:
The doctor will perform a physical exam and look at the patient’s head to determine whether there’s any tenderness. They’ll pay special attention to the arteries in the head. The doctor may also order a blood test. Several blood tests can be useful in diagnosing temporal arteritis, including the following:

*A hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin, or oxygen-carrying protein, in your blood.

*A hematocrit test measures the percentage of your blood that is made up of red blood cells.

*A liver function test can be done to determine how well the liver is working.

*An erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test measures how quickly your red blood cells collect at the bottom of a test tube over one hour. A high ESR result means that there’s inflammation in your body.

*A C-reactive protein test measures the level of a protein, made by your liver, that’s released into your bloodstream after tissue injury. A high result indicates that there’s inflammation in your body.

Although these tests can be helpful, blood tests alone aren’t enough for a diagnosis. Usually, the doctor will perform a biopsy of the artery that they suspect is affected to make a definitive diagnosis. This can be done as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. An ultrasound may provide an additional clue about whether or not the patient have temporal arteritis. CT and MRI scans are often not helpful.

Treatment:
Temporal arteritis cannot be cured. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to minimize tissue damage that can occur due to inadequate blood flow caused by the condition.

If temporal arteritis is suspected, treatment should begin immediately, even if test results haven’t yet confirmed the diagnosis. If this diagnosis is suspected and the results are pending, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can increase your risk of developing certain medical conditions, such as:

*Osteoporosis

*High blood pressure

*Muscle weakness

*Glaucoma

*Cataracts

Natural Remedies for Temporal Arteritis Symptoms:

Temporal arteritis treatment can improve blood vessel health. However, medications can create their own problems. Thankfully, there are natural ways you may be able to improve your overall health, manage symptoms and fight drug side effects if you have temporal arteritis.

1. Exercise daily and eat well.

2.Start slowly with exercise.

3.Do aerobic exercise.

4.Do Yoga & meditation with breathing exercise

5.Follow a heart–friendly diet.

6.Limit alcohol intake.

7.Totally stop smoking

Prognosis:
Patient’s outlook for temporal arteritis will depend on how quickly you’re diagnosed and able to start treatment. Untreated temporal arteritis can cause serious damage to the blood vessels in the body. The doctor should be informed if the patient notices new symptoms. This will make it more likely that he or she will be diagnosed with a condition when it’s in the early stages.

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://www.healthline.com/health/temporal-arteritis
https://draxe.com/temporal-arteritis-how-to-manage-with-6-natural-remedies/