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Atractylodes lancea

Botanical Name : Atractylodes lancea
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Subtribe: Carlininae
Genus: Atractylodes
Especie: A. lancea
División: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Atractylis lancea – Thunb.
*Atractylis ovata – Thunb.
*Atractylodes chinensis – (DC.)Koidz.
*Atractylodes ovata – (Thunb.)DC.
 
Common Name : Cang Zhu

Habitat ;Atractylis ovata is native to  E. Asia – Central China.  It grows in grassland, forests, thickets and rock crevices at elevations of 700 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Atractylis ovata is a herbeculus perennial plant growing to 1m.
It is in flower from July to October, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)

click to see the pictures..>……(01)…...(1)……..(2).……..(3)..

English: Atractylodes lancea ???: ??????

English: Atractylodes lancea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
This species is closely related to A. japonica. It is being investigated in China for the viability of growing it as a commercial crop. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. This species is dioecious. Both male and female plants need to be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring or early summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – raw or cooked. Exceedingly rich in vitamin A, it also contains 1.5% essential oils.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiemetic; Appetizer; Digestive; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stomachic; Tonic.

This plant is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The root is a bitter-sweet tonic herb that acts mainly upon the digestive system. The root is the active part. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. It is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and night blindness. The Chinese herb cangzhu dominates two formulas widely prescribed in China for male infertility. One, called hochu-ekki-to, contains 4 grams each of cangzhu, ginseng; 3 grams of Japanese angelica; 2 grams each of bupleurum root, jujube fruit, citrus unshiu peel (a Japanese citrus fruit); 1.5 grams of Chinese black cohosh; and 0.5 gram of ginger, licorice. Lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Inhibits cyclo-oxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase, the enzymes that manufacture inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes, respectively.

The root is antibacterial, antiemetic, appetizer, digestive, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. It is used in the treatment of poor appetite, digestive disorders such as dyspepsia, abdominal distension and chronic diarrhoea, rheumatoid arthritis, oedema, spontaneous sweating and night blindness. The roots are harvested in the autumn and baked for use in tonics.

The roots are used to treat indigestion, skin problems, diarrhea, fever, stomach disorders, and night blindness

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

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Atractylodes+lancea
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atractylodes_lancea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Gaucher’s disease

Alternative Names:  Glucocerebrosidase deficiency; Glucosylceramidase deficiency

Definition:
Gaucher’s disease is a very rare genetic disease in which a fatty substance (lipid) accumulates in cells and certain organs. Gaucher’s disease is the most common of the lysosomal storage diseases:536 It is caused by a hereditary deficiency of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase . The enzyme acts on a fatty substance glucocerebroside (also known as glucosylceramide). When the enzyme is defective, glucocerebroside accumulates, particularly in white blood cells (mononuclear leukocytes). Glucocerebroside can collect in the spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, brain and bone marrow…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Symptoms may include enlarged spleen and liver, liver malfunction, skeletal disorders and bone lesions that may be painful, severe neurologic complications, swelling of lymph nodes and (occasionally) adjacent joints, distended abdomen, a brownish tint to the skin, anemia, low blood platelets and yellow fatty deposits on the white of the eye (sclera). Persons affected most seriously may also be more susceptible to infection. Some forms of Gaucher’s disease may be treated with enzyme replacement therapy.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE
The disease is caused by a recessive mutation in a gene located on chromosome 1 and affects both males and females. About 1 in 100 people in the United States are carriers of the most common type of Gaucher disease, while the carrier rate among Ashkenazi Jews is 8.9% while the birth incidence is 1 in 450.

The disease is named after the French doctor Philippe Gaucher, who originally described it in 1882 and lent his name to the condition.The biochemical basis for the disease would be elucidated in 1965.

Gaucher’s disease can occur at any age. It’s most common in Eastern and Central European (Ashkenazi) Jewish people.The National Gaucher Foundation states that around 1 in 100 people in the general U.S. population is a carrier for type 1 Gaucher’s disease, giving a prevalence of 1 in 40,000: among Ashkenazi Jews the rate of carriers is considerably higher, at roughly 1 in 15.

Type 2 Gaucher’s disease shows no particular preference for any ethnic group. Type 3 Gaucher’s disease is especially common in the population of the Northern Swedish region of Norrbotten where the incidence of the disease is 1 in 50,000.

Symptoms:
Signs and symptoms of Gaucher’s disease can vary widely from one person to another, particularly among different types of the disease.

The major types of Gaucher’s disease and associated symptoms are:

Type 1. This form of the disease is the most common and is generally the most mild. Type 1 accounts for about 90 percent of cases. In this form of the disease, there’s usually no damage to the brain. This type can occur at any age, although it’s most prevalent in adults, with an average age of 30 at the time of diagnosis. Possible signs and symptoms of type 1 Gaucher’s disease include:
CLICK & SEE
*Skeletal abnormalities, including thinning of your bones (osteopenia), bone pain and bone fractures
*Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) or spleen (splenomegaly), or both
*A decrease in healthy red blood cells (anemia)
*Excessive fatigue
*A greater susceptibility to bruising, which may mean you have a low number of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia)
*Yellow spots in your eyes (pingueculae)
*Delayed puberty
*Nosebleeds

Type 2. This form of Gaucher’s disease is rare and much more severe than the other types. It begins during the first year of life, often developing by 3 months. These babies have brain damage that is extensive and progresses rapidly. In addition to the signs and symptoms listed above, other possible problems that may occur with this type of Gaucher’s include:
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE
*Cognitive deterioration, including mental retardation or dementia
*Rigidity
*Seizures

Type 3. This form of Gaucher’s disease, also rare, usually begins in childhood or adolescence. It tends to be chronic and progresses more slowly than does type 2.
Although the brain is affected, brain involvement tends to be milder than in type 2. Signs and symptoms, such as enlargement of the liver and spleen, tend to vary more in intensity than in type 2. Signs and symptoms that may occur more in type 3 than in type 1 include:

*Cognitive deterioration, including mental retardation or dementia
*Abnormal eye movements
*Loss of muscle coordination

Causes:
The disease is caused by a defect in the housekeeping gene lysosomal gluco-cerebrosidase (also known as beta-glucosidase, EC 3.2.1.45, PDB 1OGS) on the first chromosome (1q21). The enzyme is a 55.6 KD, 497 amino acids long protein that catalyses the breakdown of glucocerebroside, a cell membrane constituent of red and white blood cells. The macrophages that clear these cells are unable to eliminate the waste product, which accumulates in fibrils, and turn into Gaucher cells, which appear on light microscopy to resemble crumpled-up paper.

In the brain (type II and III), glucocerebroside accumulates due to the turnover of complex lipids during brain development and the formation of the myelin sheath of nerves.

Different mutations in the beta-glucosidase determine the remaining activity of the enzyme, and, to a large extent, the phenotype.

Risk Factors:
The risk of having type 1 or 3 Gaucher’s disease or being a carrier is higher if you’re of Eastern or Central European (Ashkenazi) Jewish ancestry. Type 2 is more common in people of Swedish descent.

A family history of any type of Gaucher’s disease increases the risk of being either a carrier of Gaucher’s or of developing the disease.

Heterozygotes for particular acid beta-glucosidase mutations carry about a fivefold risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, making this the most common known genetic risk-factor for Parkinson’s. A study of 1525 Gaucher patients in the United States suggested that while cancer risk is not elevated, particular malignancies (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, melanoma and pancreatic cancer) occurred at a 2-3 times higher rate

Complecations:
Complications of all types
Possible complications of all types of Gaucher’s disease include:

*Bone pain, which can become severe and incapacitating and may be associated with fractures.

*A tendency to bleed, which may result in repeated hemorrhaging in the nostrils or nasal cavities, or bruising beneath the skin (ecchymosis).

*An increased risk of certain cancers. Older people with Gaucher’s disease may have an increased likelihood of developing certain types of cancer, particularly multiple myeloma — uncontrolled multiplication of plasma cells.

Complications of type 2
Complications that are more likely to occur in people with type 2 Gaucher’s disease often include serious neurological complications, such as:

*Seizures
*Abnormal gait
*Swallowing problems

As these problems progress and become more severe, they can become debilitating and lead to death.

Complications of type 3
People with type 3 Gaucher’s disease are more likely to develop calcification of heart valves, which damages the valves and makes it increasingly difficult for them to open fully and function properly.

Diagnosis:
A definitive diagnosis is made with genetic testing. As there are numerous different mutations, sequencing of the beta-glucosidase gene is sometimes necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Prenatal diagnosis is available, and is useful when there is a known genetic risk factor.

A diagnosis can also be implied by biochemical abnormalities such as high alkaline phosphatase, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and immunoglobulin levels, or by cell analysis showing “crinkled paper” cytoplasm and glycolipid-laden macrophages.

Some lysosomal enzymes are elevated, including tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, hexosaminidase, and a human chitinase, chitotriosidase. This latter enzyme has proved to be very useful for monitoring Gaucher’s disease activity in response to treatment, and may reflect the severity of the disease

Treatment:
For type 1 and most type 3 patients, enzyme replacement treatment with intravenous recombinant glucocerebrosidase (imiglucerase) can dramatically decrease liver and spleen size, reduce skeletal abnormalities, and reverse other manifestations. This treatment costs approximately $200,000 annually for a single patient and should be continued for life. The rarity of the disease means that dose-finding studies have been difficult to conduct, so there remains controversy over the optimal dose and dosing frequency. Due to the low incidence, this has become an orphan drug in many countries, meaning that a government recognizes and accommodates the financial constraints that limit research into drugs that address a small population.Velaglucerase alfa was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an alternative treatment on February 26, 2010.

Successful bone marrow transplantation cures the non-neurological manifestations of the disease, because it introduces a monocyte population with active beta-glucosidase. However, this procedure carries significant risk and is rarely performed in Gaucher patients. Surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy) may be required on rare occasions if the patient is anemic or when the enlarged organ affects the patient’s comfort. Blood transfusion may benefit some anemic patients. Other patients may require joint replacement surgery to improve mobility and quality of life. Other treatment options include antibiotics for infections, antiepileptics for seizures, bisphosphonates for bone lesions, and liver transplants. Substrate reduction therapy may prove to be effective in stopping Type 2, as it can cross through the blood barrier into the brain. There is currently no effective treatment for the severe brain damage that may occur in patients with types 2 and 3 Gaucher disease. Gene therapy may be a future step.

The first effective treatment for the disease, the drug Ceredase, was approved by the FDA in April 1991. An improved drug, Cerezyme, was approved by the FDA in May 1994 and has replaced the use of Ceredase.

Gaucher’s disease has recently become a target for more than one effort at pharmacological chaperoning, which involves the use of orally administered drugs that operate at a molecular level. Miglustat is one of these oral drugs. It was approved for the treatment of this disease in 2003. As of June 2009[update], another oral drug, isofagomine tartrate, is under development.

prognosis:
How well a person does depends on the subtype of the disease. The infantile form of Gaucher disease may lead to early death. Most affected children die before age 5.

Adults with the type 1 form of the disease can expect normal life expectancy with enzyme replacement therapy.

Prevention:
Genetic counseling is recommended for prospective parents with a family history of Gaucher disease. Testing can determine if parents carry the gene that could pass on the Gaucher disease. A prenatal test can also tell if the fetus has Gaucher syndrome.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/gauchers1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaucher’s_disease
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gauchers-disease/DS00972

Libido pill to work on mind, not body


http://acherishedangel.com/
http://checkorphan.getreelhealth.com/grid/iwishes/gauchers-disease-type-2-or-type-3
http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/gaucher-disease

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Storm in a teacup

Q: I have a ceramic mug that I bought from a street vendor. When I drink tea out of it I get a taste of clay

A: Try drinking the beverage through a straw. If you can still taste the ceramic, discard the mug. Hot liquids can dissolve some of the clay and glaze. Some of these may be contaminated with dangerous heavy metals like lead. This is particularly true of poor quality stuff.

Breast-feeding & contraception

Q: I am breast feeding my four-month baby and want to use some safe and reliable form of contraception. I do not like the idea of an intrauterine contraceptive device.

A: You could ask your husband to use condoms from the beginning to the end of intercourse. If this does not appeal to both of you, or is not feasible, you can opt for progesterone injections. They are sold under the trade name Depo Provera. The injection has to be given every 12 weeks under medical supervision. Another option is “progesterone only” pills, the trade name of which is Cerazette. Unlike conventional oral contraceptive pills, these have to be taken every day. Both the injections and tablets can cause irregular menstruation. After one year (when you stop breast-feeding), you can switch to oral contraceptive pills.

Frequent itching

Q: I have recurrent itching in my vagina and it has been diagnosed as a yeast infection. Despite repeated treatment it comes back.

A: Recurrent infection is likely to occur if the normal vaginal Ph changes. This occurs if the normal bacterial flora of the vagina changes. This can occur during pregnancy, diabetes, urinary tract infection, with the use of oral contraceptive pills or antibiotics. Vaginal douching or washing with too much soap can also cause a similar problem. Treatment is with medications like fluconazole (tablet) or clotrimazole (vaginal pessaries and creams).

Relapses are common as the organism is now becoming increasingly resistant to the common medication. Unless the underlying cause is treated, relapses will occur. Relapses can also occur if your partner has diabetes which is not very well controlled.

Sleepless nights

Q: I am 64 years old and have difficulty sleeping at night. I started taking alprazolam 0.25 mg at night. Now I find that even with 0.5 mg I do not get any sleep.

A: Alprazolam can be addictive if used as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug without medical supervision. Eventually higher doses may be needed for the same quality of sleep. It can also cause dizziness and loss of balance, particularly if you suddenly get up in the night. Other less addictive prescription medicines are available. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medication to help you sleep that will not react with any of the other medication that you might be taking for other illnesses like diabetes or hypertension. It is better to avoid “sleeping pills” altogether as far as possible. Try —

· Not sleeping in the daytime

· Exercising in the morning and evening

· Drinking a glass of warm milk at night.

Heat boils

Q: I have developed boils on my legs. They are painful and pus comes out if I squeeze them. I have this problem every summer. I am not diabetic.

A: Our skin has a number of harmless commensal bacteria living on it. If small cuts and breaks occur in the skin as a result of scratching, these bacteria can enter the body and produce superficial boils. You need to keep your skin clean by bathing twice a day. Use a germicidal soap like Neko which is bactericidal. Apply the soap using a loofah or plastic scrubber. Avoid using talcum powder. Apply an antiseptic skin ointment (without steroids) like Neosporin or Soframycin on the boils after a bath. Do not break or squeeze the boils. If you develop fever consult a physician.

Lower testes

Q: My right testes appears to be larger than the left one.

A: The two halves of the body are not same. There may even be differences between your right hand and the left one. In most people the right testicle not only hangs lower but may also be larger. As long as there are no lumps or pain, you can leave it alone. If you are really worried, do an ultrasound scan to make sure there is no hernia or hydrocoele.

Nan or Lactogen?

Q: My son is nine months old. Should I give him Nan or Lactogen?

A: Children should be weaned on to solid foods after six months. Substituting tinned milk for breast milk is not the answer. They can be started on soft home-cooked solids such as cooked rice, dal and vegetables like potato. Eventually, by the age of one, they should be on the same diet as the family. Tinned precooked cereals and biscuits should be avoided.

 

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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Epididymitis


Definition:-
Epididymitis is a medical condition in which there is inflammation of the epididymis (a curved structure at the back of the testicle in which sperm matures and is stored). This condition may be mildly to very painful, and the scrotum (sac containing the testicles) may become red, warm and swollen. It may be acute (of sudden onset) or rarely chronic.
…..Click to see the picture..

click to see the pictures

1: Epididymis

2: Head of epididymis
3: Lobules of epididymis
4: Body of epididymis
5: Tail of epididymis
6: Duct of epididymis
7: Deferent duct (ductus deferens or vas
Epididymitis is the most frequent cause of sudden scrotal pain. In contrast with men who have testicular torsion, the cremaster reflex (elevation of the testicle in response to stroking the upper inner thigh) is not altered. If the diagnosis is not entirely clear from the patient’s history and physical examination, a Doppler ultrasound scan can confirm increased flow of blood to the affected epididymis.

Infection is the most common cause.
In sexually active men, Chlamydia trachomatis is the most frequent causative microbe, followed by E. coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In children, it may follow an infection in another part of the body (for example, a viral illness), or there may be an associated urinary tract anomaly. Another cause is sterile reflux of urine through the ejaculatory ducts. Antibiotics may be needed to control a component of infection. Treatment otherwise comprises pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs and bed rest if necessary, and symptom control by resting the scrotum in a supported position.
Males of any age can get epididymitis, but it’s most common in men between the ages of 20 and 39.

Classification
Epididymitis can be classified into acute and chronic.

Acute Epididymis:>-click & see    .Swelling in a patient with epididymitis

1. Ductus Deferens
2. Epididymis
3. Testicle

Chronic epididymitis..>.click & see
Chronic epididymitis is epididymitis which ensues for more than six weeks. Chronic epididymitis is characterised by inflammation even when there is no infection present. Tests are needed to distinguish chronic epididymitis from a range of other disorders that can cause constant scrotal pain. These include testicular cancer, enlarged scrotal veins (varicocele) or a cyst within the epididymis. As well, the nerves in the scrotal area are connected to those of the abdomen, sometimes causing pain similar to a hernia (see referred pain). This condition can develop even without the presence of the previously described known causes.

Typically, a second, longer round of treatment is used. It is believed that the hypersensitivity of certain structures, including nerves and muscles, may cause or contribute to chronic epididymitis. A procedure called a cord block is a last measure. This consists of an injection into the nerve that traces along the epididymis. The injection is a compound of several medications including a steroid, pain killers, and a high dose of an anti-inflammatory. This treatment can quell the pain for 2–3 months in ideal conditions. Some patients may only experience an even shorter duration of 2–3 days, while the fortunate ones in rare occasions are never bothered again. This procedure would of course have to be repeated when necessary, until the problem goes away completely, or until the routine is simply too bothersome. As a last resort, a patient may then decide to have the epididymis completely removed.

Symptoms:
Epididymitis symptoms depend on the cause. They can include:

#A tender, swollen, red or warm scrotum
#Testicle pain and tenderness, usually on one side — the pain may get worse when you have a bowel movement
#Painful urination or an urgent or frequent need to urinate
#Painful intercourse or ejaculation
#Chills and a fever
#A lump on the testicle
#Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin (inguinal nodes)
#Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
#Discharge from the penis
#Blood in the semen

Causes:-
#Infection is the most common cause of epididymitis. The bacteria in the urethra back-track through the urinary and reproductive structures to the epididymis. There can be associated urethritis (inflammation of the urethra). Rarely, the infection reaches the epididymis via the bloodstream.

In sexually active men, Chlamydia trachomatis is responsible for two-thirds of cases, followed by Neisseria gonorrhoeae and E. coli (or other bacteria that cause urinary tract infection). Particularly among men over age 35 in whom the cause is E. coli, epididymitis is commonly due to urinary tract obstruction. Less common microbes include Ureaplasma, Mycobacterium, and cytomegalovirus, or Cryptococcus in patients with HIV infection. E. coli is more common in boys before puberty, the elderly and homosexual men.

#Other infections. Boys, older men and homosexual men are more likely to have epididymitis caused by a non-sexually transmitted bacterial infection. For men and boys who’ve had urinary tract infections or prostate infections, bacteria may spread from the infected site to the epididymis. Rarely, epididymitis is caused by a fungal infection.

#Non-infectious causes are also possible
. Reflux of sterile urine (urine without bacteria) through the ejaculatory ducts may cause inflammation with obstruction. In children, it may be a response following an infection with enterovirus, adenovirus or Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

#The heart medication amiodarone. In some cases, this anti-arrhythmic medication causes inflammation of the epididymis. Epididymitis caused by amiodarone is treated by temporarily discontinuing the drug or reducing the dose.

#Tuberculosis. In some cases, tuberculosis can cause epididymitis.

#Urine in the epididymis. Known as chemical epididymitis, this occurs when urine flows backward into the epididymis. It may occur with heavy lifting or straining.

Epididymitis can also be caused by genito-urinary surgery, including prostatectomy and urinary catheterization. Congestive epididymitis is a long-term complication of vasectomy. Chemical epididymitis may also result from drugs such as amiodarone.

Diagnosis:-
Epididymitis can be hard to distinguish from testicular torsion. Both can occur at the same time. A urologist may need to be consulted.

Epididymitis usually has a gradual onset. On physical examination, the testicle is usually found to be in its normal vertical position, of equal size compared to its counterpart, and not high-riding. Typical findings are redness, warmth and swelling of the scrotum, with tenderness behind the testicle, away from the middle (this is the normal position of the epididymis relative to the testicle). The cremasteric reflex (if it was normal before) remains normal. This is a useful sign to distinguish it from testicular torsion. If there is pain relieved by elevation of the testicle, this is called Prehn’s sign, which is however non-specific.

Analysis of the urine may or may not be normal. Before the advent of sophisticated medical imaging techniques, surgical exploration was the standard of care. Nowadays, color Doppler ultrasound is the preferred test. It can demonstrate increased blood flow (also compared to the normal side), as opposed to testicular torsion. Nuclear testicular blood flow testing is rarely used.

Additional tests may be necessary to identify underlying causes. In younger children, a urinary tract anomaly is frequently found. In sexually active men, tests for sexually transmitted diseases may be done. These may include microscopy and culture of a first void urine sample, Gram stain and culture of fluid or a swab from the urethra, nuclear acid amplification tests (to amplify and detect microbial DNA or other nucleic acids) or tests for syphilis and HIV.

Treatment:-
Antibiotics are used if an infection is suspected. Fluoroquinolones are no longer recommended for sexually transmitted infections, because of the resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae . A cephalosporin (such as ceftriaxone) combined with doxycycline is an alternative. Azithromycin can be used for susceptible strains.

For cases caused by enteric organisms (such as E. coli), ofloxacin or levofloxacin are recommended.

In children, quinolones and doxycycline are best avoided. Since bacteria that cause urinary tract infections are often the cause of epididymitis in children, co-trimoxazole or suited penicillins (for example, cephalexin) can be used. If there is a sexually transmitted disease, the partner should also be treated.

Household remedies such as elevation of the scrotum and cold compresses applied regularly to the scrotum may relieve the pain. Painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs are often necessary. Hospitalisation is indicated for severe cases, and check-ups can ensure the infection has cleared up. Surgery is rarely necessary, except, for example, in those rare instances where an abscess forms.

Home Remedies & Change of Lifestyle:-
Having epididymitis usually means you’re experiencing considerable pain and discomfort. To ease your symptoms, you may  try  the advices:

#Rest in bed. Depending on the severity of your discomfort, you may want to stay in bed one or two days.

#Elevate your scrotum. While lying down, place a folded towel under your scrotum.

#Wear an athletic supporter. A supporter provides better support than boxers do for the scrotum.

#Apply cold packs to your scrotum. Wrap the pack in a thin towel and remove the cold pack every 30 minutes or so to avoid damaging your skin.

#Don’t have sex until your infection has cleared up. Ask your doctor when you can have sex again.

Risk factors:-

Sexually transmitted epididymitis
Several factors increase your risk of getting epididymitis caused by an STD, including:

#High-risk sexual behaviors, such as having multiple sex partners, having sex with a partner with an STD and having sex without a condom.

#Personal history of an STD. You’re at increased risk of an infection that causes epididymitis if you’ve had an STD in the past.
Non-STD infections:-
Several things increase your risk of epididymitis caused by an infection other than an STD, including:

#Past prostate or urinary tract infections. Chronic urinary tract infections or prostate infections are linked to bacterial infections that can cause epididymitis.

#An uncircumcised penis or an anatomical abnormality of the urinary tract. These conditions increase your risk of epididymitis caused by a bacterial infection.

#Medical procedures that affect the urinary tract. Procedures such as surgery or having a urinary catheter or scope inserted into the penis can introduce bacteria into the genital-urinary tract, leading to infection.

#Prostate enlargement. Having an enlarged prostate that obstructs bladder function and causes urine to remain in the bladder puts you at higher risk of bladder infections, which increases the risk of epididymitis.

Epididymitis may eventually cause:

#Scrotal abscess, when infected tissue fills with pus

#Chronic epididymitis, which can occur when untreated acute epididymitis leads to recurrent episodes

#Shrinkage of the affected testicle (atrophy)

#Reduced fertility, but this is rare

If the condition spreads from your epididymis to your testicle, the resulting condition is known as epididymo-orchitis. Signs, symptoms and treatment options are basically the same as they are for epididymitis.

Prevention:-
If your epididymitis was caused by an STD, your partner also will need treatment. If your partner doesn’t get treatment, you may contract the STD again. Safer sexual practices, such as monogamous sex and condom use, help protect against STDs that can cause epididymitis.

If you have recurrent urninary tract infections or other risk factors for epididymitis, your doctor may discuss with you other ways to prevent epididymitis from recurring.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epididymitis
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/epididymitis/DS00603

 

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Researchers Make Synthetic HDL Cholesterol

US researchers have developed a synthetic form of good cholesterol known as HDL they hope will be able to keep levels of bad cholesterol  in check. The compound, which has a tiny core of gold, is manufactured using nanotechnology, and its developers think it has the potential to rid the body of excess bad cholesterol.

lipoprotein (HDL) particles like the one depicted here nevertheless incorporate large proteins that are difficult to mimic artificially.This is required  to  treat atherosclerosis.

.
“The idea is you take this and effectively just urinate it out,” said Chad Mirkin of Northwestern University in Chicago. Mirkin, director of Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology said, “The molecule mirrors the size and structure of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. It is comprised of a carefully sized gold particle swathed in fat molecules known as lipids and capped off with a protein layer.”

It is designed to attract and trap low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol that can build up in arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. Powerful drugs known as statins can help lower LDL levels, but they do little to raise levels of protective HDL cholesterol.

“The hope is this will be a material that doesn’t have side effects, that allows you to do what the statins don’t do. That is raise the HDL level, which might be able reverse a lot of the damage and plaques that are already there,” Mirkin said.

Current drugs that raise natural levels of HDL, such as niacin, cause unpleasant side effects such as flushing. And while many drug companies are working to develop better HDL-raising drugs, few have succeeded. “HDL is a natural nanoparticle, and we’ve successfully mimicked it,” Mirkin said.

Gold is an ideal scaffolding material because its shape can be easily tailored, and it is non-toxic, making it a good drug candidate. Mirkin said “Gold is already used in therapies for arthritis and as contrast agent in imaging.”

Mirkin is testing the synthetic HDL molecules in animals. “Will they bind to cholesterol and effectively lower cholesterol, and will they reverse the damage of plaques? That would be absolutely spectacular,” he said. Analysts believe the market potential for HDL-raising drugs is well over $10 billion.

Current HDL-raising drugs include Abbott Laboratories Inc’s Niaspan, which also lowers a type of blood fat called triglycerides. In Europe, Merck & Co markets a drug called Tredaptive that combines niacin with an anti-flushing agent. Merck is already well into development of an HDL-raising drug called anacetrapib and plans to start late-stage trials in humans this year. The drug, also called MK-859, has a similar mechanism of action to a failed compound by Pfizer Inc called torcetrapib that was linked with deaths .

Sources: The Times Of India

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