Tag Archives: Tobacco smoking

Buerger’s Disease

Alternative Nane:Thromboangiitis obliterans

Definition:
Buerger’s disease is a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.In this disease, your blood vessels become inflamed, swell and can become blocked with blood clots (thrombi). This eventually damages or destroys skin tissues and may lead to infection and gangrene. Buerger’s disease usually first shows in the hands and feet and may eventually affect larger areas of your arms and legs.

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Buerger’s disease is rare in the United States, but is more common in the Middle East and Far East. Buerger’s disease usually affects men younger than 40 years of age, though it’s becoming more common in women.

Virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger’s disease smokes cigarettes or uses other forms of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco. Quitting all forms of tobacco is the only way to stop Buerger’s disease. For those who don’t quit, amputation of all or part of a limb may be necess

Symptoms:
The following are the symptoms of Buerger’s:
•Intermittent leg pains
•Leg numbness
•Leg tingling
•Leg burning
•Leg paresthesias
•Foot pains
•Leg pain worse with exertion
•Foot pain worse with exertion
•Foot paresthesias
•Foot numbness
•Foot tingling
•Foot burning
•Cold feet
•Foot discoloration
•Poor leg circulation
•Poor hand circulation – in some less common cases
•Severe pain in extremities at rest
•Insomnia
•Sensation of cold at extremities
•Cold hypersensibility
•Sudden sweating
•Dyshidrosis
•Ulceration of extremities
•Gangrene of extremities
•Blood vessel inflammation
•Blood vessel thrombosis
•Rest pain
•Unremitting ischemic ulcerations
•Gangrene of the digits of hands and feet

The lack of sufficient blood flow to the hands and feet leads to the development of tissue ischemia and sores or lesions. This can eventually lead to the death (necrosis) of affected tissues and gangrene, which may require removal of the dead tissues or amputation in the most severe cases.

Buerger’s disease can mimic or occur in conjunction with a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. Symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon include a change in color of the affected fingers and toes. The fingers and toes may appear pale, grey or bluish (cyanosis). The hands and feet may feel very cold and there may also be pain, throbbing, burning or numbness….more about Buerger’s disease »

Causes:
The precise cause of Buerger’s disease is unknown.
It’s believed that in genetically susceptible individuals, smoking triggers an autoimmune response that causes the inflammation. The symptoms occur as a result of inadequate blood supply to the tissues.

Diagnosis:
Patient history and physical examination strongly suggest Buerger’s disease.
The condition is characterized by swelling in the arteries and veins of the arms and legs. The cells that cause the inflammation and swelling — and eventually blood clots — form in the vessels leading to your hands and feet and block the blood flow to those parts of your body.

Reduced blood flow means that the skin tissue in your hands and feet doesn’t get adequate oxygen and nutrients. This leads to the signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease, beginning with pain and weakness in your fingers and toes and spreading to other parts of your arms and legs.

While no tests can confirm whether you have Buerger’s disease, your doctor will likely order tests to rule out other more common conditions or confirm suspicion of Buerger’s disease brought on by your signs and symptoms.

Tests may include:

Blood tests
Blood tests to look for certain substances can rule out other conditions that may cause similar signs and symptoms. For instance, blood tests can help rule out scleroderma, lupus, blood-clotting disorders and diabetes, along with other diseases and conditions.

The Allen’s test
Your doctor may perform a simple test called the Allen’s test to check blood flow through the arteries carrying blood to your hands. In the Allen’s test, you make a tight fist, which forces the blood out of your hand. Your doctor presses on the arteries at each side of your wrist to slow the flow of blood back into your hand, making your hand lose its normal color. Next, you open your hand and your doctor releases the pressure on one artery, then the other. How quickly the color returns to your hand may give a general indication about the health of your arteries. Slow blood flow into your hand may indicate a problem, such as Buerger’s disease.

Angiogram
An angiogram, also called an arteriogram, helps doctors see the condition of your arteries. A special dye is injected into an artery, after which you undergo

X-rays or other imaging tests. The dye helps to delineate any artery blockages that show up on the images. Your doctor may order angiograms of both your arms and your legs — even if you don’t have signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease in all of your limbs. Buerger’s disease almost always affects more than one limb, so even though you may not have signs and symptoms in your other limbs, this test may detect early signs of vessel damage.

* Doppler ultrasonography to show diminished circulation in the peripheral vessels

* plethysmography to help detect decreased circulation in the peripheral vessels

Risk Factors:

Tobacco use
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of Buerger’s disease. Heavy cigarette smokers (people who smoke one and a half packs a day or more) are most likely to develop Buerger’s disease, though it can occur in people who use any form of tobacco, including cigars and chewing tobacco. People who smoke hand-rolled cigarettes using raw tobacco may have the greatest risk of Buerger’s disease.

It isn’t clear how tobacco use increases your risk of Buerger’s disease, but virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger’s disease uses tobacco. It’s thought that chemicals in tobacco may irritate the lining of your blood vessels, causing them to swell. Rates of Buerger’s disease are highest in areas of the Middle

East and Far East where heavy smoking is most common.

Although secondhand smoke isn’t thought to be a major risk factor for Buerger’s disease, if you’re diagnosed, you should stay away from people who are

Smoking. Secondhand smoke could worsen your condition.

Chronic gum disease :Long-term infection of the gums is also associated with the development of Buerger’s disease.

Treatment:
The only effective treatment for Buerger’s disease is to quit smoking (smoking cessation) and to abstain from the use of all tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco. At this time, there are no medications that are effective in treating Buerger’s disease.

If an affected individual continues to smoke, they’re likely to have toes and/or fingers amputated. Infections should be treated promptly.

Smoking cessation is a challenging process and requires a multifaceted approach to be successful. For optimal results with smoking cessation, it is recommended that a smoker consults with a health care provider prior to quitting. Smoking cessation can include a combination of nicotine replacement therapy to minimize the nicotine cravings associated with nicotine withdrawal, and participation in a smoking cessation support group, such as Freedom From Smoking (http://www.ffsonline.org/ ) or Nicotine Anonymous (http://www.nicotine-anonymous.org).

Lifestyle & Home Remedies:
Take care of your fingers and toes if you have Buerger’s disease. Check the skin on your arms and legs daily for cuts and scrapes, keeping in mind that if you’ve lost feeling to a finger or toe you may not feel, for example, a cut when it happens. Keep your fingers and toes protected and avoid exposing them to cold.

Low blood flow to your extremities means your body can’t resist infection as easily. Small cuts and scrapes can easily turn into serious infections. Clean any cut with water, apply antibiotic ointment and cover it with a clean bandage. Keep an eye on any cuts or scrapes to make sure they’re healing. If they get worse or heal slowly, see your doctor promptly.

Visit your dentist regularly to keep your gums and teeth in good health and avoid gum disease, which in its chronic form is associated with Buerger’s disease.
Prognosis: The disease is progressive in patients who do not stop smoking. Areas with gangrene must be removed surgically.

Prevention:
Quit using tobacco in any form
Virtually everyone who has Buerger’s disease has used tobacco in some form, most prominently cigarettes. To prevent Buerger’s disease, it’s important to not use tobacco.

Quitting smoking can be hard. If you’re like most people who smoke, you’ve probably tried to quit in the past, but haven’t been successful. It’s never too late to try again. Talk to your doctor about strategies to help you quit.

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.wrongdiagnosis.com/b/buergers_disease/intro.htm
http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/buergers-disease/DS00807.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/buergers-disease/DS00807
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/buergher1.shtml

Buerger’s Disease

http://modernmedicalguide.com/buergers-disease/

http://indiahealthtour.com/treatments/vascular/buerger-disease-thromboangiitis-obliterans-treatment-india.html

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Green Tea ‘May Block Lung Cancer’

Drinking green tea may offer some protection against lung cancer, say experts who studied the disease at a medical university in Taiwan.
………………..…click & see
The latest work in more than 500 people adds to growing evidence suggesting the beverage has anti-cancer powers.

In the study, smokers and non-smokers who drank at least a cup a day cut their lung cancer risk significantly, a US cancer research conference heard.

The protection was greatest for people carrying certain genes.

But cancer experts said the findings did not change the fact that smoking is bad for health.

Daily cuppa:-

Green tea is made from the dried leaves of the Asian plant Camellia sinesis and is drunk widely across Asia.

The rates of many cancers are much lower in Asia than other parts of the world, which has led some to link the two.

Laboratory studies have shown that extracts from green tea, called polyphenols, can stop cancer cells from growing.

But results from human studies have been mixed. Some have shown a protective effect while others have failed to find any evidence of protection.

In July 2009, the Oxford-based research group Cochrane published a review of 51 studies on green tea and cancer which included over 1.5 million people.

They concluded that while green tea is safe to drink in moderation, the research so far is conflicting about whether or not it can prevent certain cancers.

Reduced risk:-

Dr I-Hsin Lin, of Shan Medical University, found that among smokers and non-smokers, people who did not drink green tea were more than five times as likely to get lung cancer than those who drank at least one cup of green tea a day.

Among smokers, those who did not drink green tea at all were more than 12 times as likely to develop lung cancer than those who drank at least a cup a day.

Researchers then analysed the DNA of people in the study and found certain genes appeared to play a role in the risk reduction.

Green tea drinkers, whether smokers or non smokers, with certain types of a gene called IGF1, were far less likely to develop lung cancer than other green tea drinkers with different types of this gene.

Yinka Ebo, of Cancer Research UK, said the findings should not be used as an excuse to keep smoking.

Smoking tobacco fills your lungs with around 80 cancer-causing chemicals. Drinking green tea is not going to compensate for that.

“Unfortunately, it’s not possible to make up for the harm caused by smoking by doing other things right like eating a healthy, balanced diet.

“The best thing a smoker can do to reduce their risk of lung cancer, and more than a dozen other cancer types, is to quit.”

Source: BBC News: Wednesday, 13 January 2010

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How Dangerous is Outdoor Second-Hand Smoke?

Indoor smoking bans have forced smokers at bars and restaurants onto outdoor patios, but a new study suggests that these outdoor smoking areas might be creating a new health hazard.

…………cigars4iz
The study, thought to be the first to assess levels of a nicotine byproduct known as cotinine in nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors, found levels up to 162 percent greater than in the control group.

Secondhand smoke contains several known carcinogens, and there may be no safe level of exposure.

Cigarettes are also “widely contaminated” with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, according to a new international study.

The research team describes the study as the first to show that cigarettes could be the direct source of exposure to a wide array of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Bacteria of medical significance to humans were identified in all of the tested cigarettes and included:

•Acinetobacter (associated with lung and blood infections)
•Bacillus (some varieties associated with food-borne illnesses and anthrax)
•Burkholderia (some forms responsible for respiratory infections)
•Clostridium (associated with food-borne illnesses and lung infections)
•Klebsiella (associated with a variety of lung, blood and other infections)
•Pseudomonas aeruginosa (an organism that causes 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections in the United States)

Click to see:->Passive smoking a ‘global threat’, WHO warns

Resources:
Science Blog November 18, 2009
Eurekalert November 19, 2009
Environmental Health Perspectives October 22, 2009
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene November 2009; 6(11):698-704

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Mouth Indicates Body’s Overall Health

The mouth or oral cavity area is an excellent indicator of the whole body’s health, says a University of Maryland Dental School professor.
……....CLICK & SEE.
Professor Li Mao insists surface tissues inside the cheek could be checked to detect tobacco-induced damage in the lungs.

This could prove to be an important advancement in designing future lung cancer prevention trials.

“We hypothesized that tobacco-induced molecular alterations in the oral epithelium are similar to those in the lungs,” said Mao.

The expert added: “This might have broader implications for using the mouth as a diagnostic indicator for general health.”

“I feel that dentists should play a major role in prevention of cancer and Dr. Mao is the leading oral cancer researcher in the country. He crosses the bridge between medicine and dentistry,” said University of Maryland Dental School Dean Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, a leader in the movement to retool dental education.

“Being a physician helps expand dental health care and he wants to change how patients are being treated because his background is in head and neck cancer,” Stohler added.

Source: The study is published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Q: My one-year-old son developed watery diarrhoea. We went to several doctors who first prescribed tests and then gave him antibiotics. Eventually I was told he had developed “milk intolerance” and was switched to soya milk. Can I give him goat or buffalo milk? Can I use a tinned product like Nan or Lactogen instead?


A:
Your son has developed an inability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk, probably as a consequence of gastroenteritis. Since he is a year old, and you do not want to give him soya milk, try keeping him on other foods (no milk) for 72 hours. Very often the intestine recovers its ability to digest milk in that time. Nan, Lactogen, goat and buffalo milk all contain lactose. Switching him to these products will not solve the problem.

Lung cancer
Q: My daughter is 24 years old and has been diagnosed with lung cancer. How is it possible? She does not smoke.

A: The factors that contribute to the development of lung cancer in non-smoking women are postulated to be exposure to second hand smoke, high levels of the hormone estrogen, genetic factors, or abnormal embryonic remnants in the lung that mutate. None of these (except exposure to second hand smoke) can be changed.

Sugar or honey?
Q: I am diabetic, but my blood sugar level is well under control. I use Equal in my tea and coffee. Recently I read that it is bad for health. Can I use honey instead?

 

A: Honey contains fructose, glucose and sucrose. All these are sugars, so substituting honey for sugar will not help. The main constituent of Equal is aspartame (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl-ester) which is about 200 times as sweet as sugar with virtually no calories. This compound breaks down in the system to:

1) Phenylalanine (50 per cent), which can be neurotoxic and in some susceptible people cause seizures

2) Aspartic acid (40 per cent), which can cause brain damage in the developing brain

3) Methanol (10 per cent), which turns into formaldehyde

The quantities taken by diabetic patients in tea and coffee are small and probably insufficient to cause these adverse reactions. People who drink large quantities of diet cola or such drinks are more likely to be affected. The reactions are idiosyncratic and vary from individual to individual.

Weight gain
Q: I gained 4 kg after I got married. This now makes me 75 kg. Also, I have not been able to conceive.


A: Y
our lifestyle may have changed after marriage. The best thing to do is to stop snacking, cut out chocolates and puddings, and always refuse a second helping. You also need to exercise. An hour a day is sufficient, but you need to vigorously cross train. Run one day, swim the next and cycle the third. Combine this with yoga if you want that hourglass figure.

Bed wetting
Q: My nine-year-old son still wets his bed. This is an embarrassment to us.

A: Bed wetting is said to be primary when bladder control has never been achieved and secondary when there is a reversion to it after six dry months. Most children achieve night time bladder control by the age of three. But around 30 per cent of children continue to wet their bed. Even without treatment, this percentage falls to 20 per cent by the age of six. However, one per cent of adolescents continue to wet their bed. Bed wetting may be familial and is commoner in boys. If urine and blood test results are normal, and there is no structural abnormality, then the outlook for such children is good. About 15 per cent gets spontaneously cured. Berating the child, punishment or humiliation is not an answer to the problem.

A few simple measures may help:

* Limit fluid intake after 7pm

* Avoid caffeinated drinks (colas, tea and coffee)

* Encourage the child to go to the toilet before bedtime

* Avoid punishment

* Encourage success

* Leave a light on in the bathroom

* Make the child wear simple underclothes without complicated bows and zippers so that they can be easily pulled up or down if required.

Gasping for air
Q: I have been diagnosed with emphysema. I am breathless most of the time. How did I get this?


A:
Emphysema usually follows lung damage as a result of long-term cigarette smoking, air pollution or occupational exposure to dust as in the case of coal miners. It runs in some families where many members have a genetically determined deficiency of an enzyme called Alpha-1-antitrypsin. It can occur in poorly controlled asthmatics. Lung function decreases with age so it can occur in older people without any of these risk factors. It is also commoner in men.

It can be treated with inhalers, nebulisers, oxygen, bronchodilators and appropriate antibiotics whenever an infection flares up. In the case of smokers, treatment will not succeed unless smoking is stopped.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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