Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Asthma

Definition:   Asthma is a common long term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These episodes may occur a few times a day or a few times per week. Depending on the person they may become worse at night or with exercise.

Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors include exposure to air pollution and allergens. Other potential triggers include medications such as aspirin and beta blockers. Diagnosis is usually based on the pattern of symptoms, response to therapy over time, and spirometry. Asthma is classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate. It may also be classified as atopic or non-atopic where atopy refers to a predisposition toward developing a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction…..CLICK & SEE 

There is no cure for asthma. Symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by the use of inhaled corticosteroids. Long-acting beta agonists (LABA) or antileukotriene agents may be used in addition to inhaled corticosteroids if asthma symptoms remain uncontrolled. Treatment of rapidly worsening symptoms is usually with an inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist such as salbutamol and corticosteroids taken by mouth. In very severe cases, interavenous corticosteroids, magnesium sulfate, and hospitalization may be required.
Symptoms:
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. One may have infrequent asthma attacks, has symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

*Shortness of breath
*Chest tightness or pain
*Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
*A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
*Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

*Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
*Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
*The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:

*Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
*Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
*Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by particular allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches or pollen.

Causes:
Asthma is caused by a combination of complex and incompletely understood environmental and genetic interactions. These factors influence both its severity and its responsiveness to treatment. It is believed that the recent increased rates of asthma are due to changing epigenetics (heritable factors other than those related to the DNA sequence) and a changing living environment…..CLICK & SEE

Asthma triggers:

Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies (allergens) can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:

*Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mites
*Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
*Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
*Cold air
*Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
*Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
*Strong emotions and stress
*Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
*Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat.

Diagnosis:
While asthma is a well recognized condition, there is not one universal agreed upon definition. It is defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma as “a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which many cells and cellular elements play a role. The chronic inflammation is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness that leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing particularly at night or in the early morning. These episodes are usually associated with widespread but variable airflow obstruction within the lung that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment”.

There is currently no precise test with the diagnosis typically based on the pattern of symptoms and response to therapy over time. A diagnosis of asthma should be suspected if there is a history of: recurrent wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing and these symptoms occur or worsen due to exercise, viral infections, allergens or air pollution.
Physical exam:

To rule out other possible conditions — such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your signs and symptoms and about any other health problems.

Tests to measure lung function

One may also be given lung (pulmonary) function tests to determine how much air moves in and out as you breathe. These tests may include:

*Spirometry. This test estimates the narrowing of your bronchial tubes by checking how much air you can exhale after a deep breath and how fast you can breathe out.

*Peak flow. A peak flow meter is a simple device that measures how hard you can breathe out. Lower than usual peak flow readings are a sign your lungs may not be working as well and that your asthma may be getting worse. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to track and deal with low peak flow readings.

Lung function tests often are done before and after taking a medication called a bronchodilator (brong-koh-DIE-lay-tur), such as albuterol, to open your airways. If your lung function improves with use of a bronchodilator, it’s likely you have asthma.

Other additional tests:

Other tests to diagnose asthma include:

*Methacholine challenge. Methacholine is a known asthma trigger that, when inhaled, will cause mild constriction of your airways. If you react to the methacholine, you likely have asthma. This test may be used even if your initial lung function test is normal.

*Nitric oxide test. This test, though not widely available, measures the amount of the gas, nitric oxide, that you have in your breath. When your airways are inflamed — a sign of asthma — you may have higher than normal nitric oxide levels.

*Imagingtest:   test:A chest X-ray and high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scan of your lungs and nose cavities (sinuses) can identify any structural abnormalities or diseases (such as infection) that can cause or aggravate breathing problems.

*Allergy testing. : This can be performed by a skin test or blood test. Allergy tests can identify allergy to pets, dust, mold and pollen. If important allergy triggers are identified, this can lead to a recommendation for allergen immunotherapy.

*Sputum eosinophils. This test looks for certain white blood cells (eosinophils) in the mixture of saliva and mucus (sputum) you discharge during coughing. Eosinophils are present when symptoms develop and become visible when stained with a rose-colored dye (eosin).

*Provocative testing for exercise and cold-induced asthma. In these tests, your doctor measures your airway obstruction before and after you perform vigorous physical activity or take several breaths of cold air.

Risk Factors:
A number of factors are thought to increase your chances of developing asthma. These include:

*Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with asthma
*Having another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
*Being overweight
*Being a smoker
*Exposure to secondhand smoke
*Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution
*Exposure to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in farming, hairdressing and manufacturing

Complications:
Asthma complications include:

*Signs and symptoms that interfere with sleep, work or recreational activities
*Sick days from work or school during asthma flare-ups
*Permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes (airway remodeling) that affects how well you can breathe
*Emergency room visits and hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks
*Side effects from long-term use of some medications used to stabilize severe asthma
*Proper treatment makes a big difference in preventing both short-term and long-term complications caused by asthma.

Treatment:
While there is no cure for asthma, symptoms can typically be improved. A specific, customized plan for proactively monitoring and managing symptoms should be created. This plan should include the reduction of exposure to allergens, testing to assess the severity of symptoms, and the usage of medications. The treatment plan should be written down and advise adjustments to treatment according to changes in symptoms.

The most effective treatment for asthma is identifying triggers, such as cigarette smoke, pets, or aspirin, and eliminating exposure to them. If trigger avoidance is insufficient, the use of medication is recommended. Pharmaceutical drugs are selected based on, among other things, the severity of illness and the frequency of symptoms. Specific medications for asthma are broadly classified into fast-acting and long-acting categories.

Bronchodilators are recommended for short-term relief of symptoms. In those with occasional attacks, no other medication is needed. If mild persistent disease is present (more than two attacks a week), low-dose inhaled corticosteroids or alternatively, an oral leukotriene antagonist or a mast cell stabilizer is recommended. For those who have daily attacks, a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids is used. In a moderate or severe exacerbation, oral corticosteroids are added to these treatments.

Lifestyle modification:
Avoidance of triggers is a key component of improving control and preventing attacks. The most common triggers include allergens, smoke (tobacco and other), air pollution, non selective beta-blockers, and sulfite-containing foods. Cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke (passive smoke) may reduce the effectiveness of medications such as corticosteroids. Laws that limit smoking decrease the number of people hospitalized for asthma. Dust mite control measures, including air filtration, chemicals to kill mites, vacuuming, mattress covers and others methods had no effect on asthma symptoms.[48] Overall, exercise is beneficial in people with stable asthma.

Medications:
Medications used to treat asthma are divided into two general classes: quick-relief medications used to treat acute symptoms; and long-term control medications used to prevent further exacerbation.

*Short-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonists (SABA), such as salbutamol (albuterol USAN) are the first line treatment for asthma symptoms. They are recommended before exercise in those with exercise induced symptoms.

*Anticholinergic medications, such as ipratropium bromide, provide additional benefit when used in combination with SABA in those with moderate or severe symptoms. Anticholinergic bronchodilators can also be used if a person cannot tolerate a SABA. If a child requires admission to hospital additional ipratropium does not appear to help over a SABA.

*Older, less selective adrenergic agonists, such as inhaled epinephrine, have similar efficacy to SABAs.[130] They are however not recommended due to concerns regarding excessive cardiac stimulation.

Long–term control:

Fluticasone propionate metered dose inhaler commonly used for long-term control.

*Corticosteroids are generally considered the most effective treatment available for long-term control. Inhaled forms such as beclomethasone are usually used except in the case of severe persistent disease, in which oral corticosteroids may be needed. It is usually recommended that inhaled formulations be used once or twice daily, depending on the severity of symptoms.

*Long-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists (LABA) such as salmeterol and formoterol can improve asthma control, at least in adults, when given in combination with inhaled corticosteroids. In children this benefit is uncertain. When used without steroids they increase the risk of severe side-effects  and even with corticosteroids they may slightly increase the risk.

*Leukotriene receptor antagonists (such as montelukast and zafirlukast) may be used in addition to inhaled corticosteroids, typically also in conjunction with a LABA. Evidence is insufficient to support use in acute exacerbations. In children they appear to be of little benefit when added to inhaled steroids, and the same applies in adolescents and adults. They are useful by themselves. In those under five years of age, they were the preferred add-on therapy after inhaled corticosteroids by the British Thoracic Society in 2009. A similar class of drugs, 5-LOX inhibitors, may be used as an alternative in the chronic treatment of mild to moderate asthma among older children and adults. As of 2013 there is one medication in this family known as zileuton.

*Mast cell stabilizers (such as cromolyn sodium) are another non-preferred alternative to corticosteroids.

Alternative medicine:
Many people with asthma, like those with other chronic disorders, use alternative treatments; surveys show that roughly 50% use some form of unconventional therapy. There is little data to support the effectiveness of most of these therapies. Evidence is insufficient to support the usage of Vitamin C. There is tentative support for its use in exercise induced brochospasm.

Acupuncture is not recommended for the treatment as there is insufficient evidence to support its use. Air ionisers show no evidence that they improve asthma symptoms or benefit lung function; this applied equally to positive and negative ion generators.

Manual therapies, including osteopathic, chiropractic, physiotherapeutic and respiratory therapeutic maneuvers, have insufficient evidence to support their use in treating asthma. The Buteyko breathing technique for controlling hyperventilation may result in a reduction in medication use; however, the technique does not have any effect on lung function. Thus an expert panel felt that evidence was insufficient to support its use.

But regular Yoga with Pranayama (the breathing exercise) under the guideline of an expart shows lot of improvement among most asthma patients.

Some home remedies:

*Express the juice from garlic. Mix 10 to 15 drops in warm water and take internally for asthma relief.Mix, onion juice ¼ cup, honey 1 tablespoon and black pepper 1/8 tablespoon.Mix licorice and ginger together. Take ½ tablespoon in 1 cup of water for relief from asthma.

*Drink a glass of 2/3 carrot juice, 1/3 spinach juice, 3 times a day .

*Add 30-40 leaves of Basil in a liter of water, strain the leaves and drink the water throughout the day effective for asthma.

CLICK  &  READ  : Breathe in  & Breathe out

Prevention:

The evidence for the effectiveness of measures to prevent the development of asthma is weak. Some show promise including: limiting smoke exposure both in utero and after delivery, breastfeeding, and increased exposure to daycare or large families but none are well supported enough to be recommended for this indication. Early pet exposure may be useful. Results from exposure to pets at other times are inconclusive and it is only recommended that pets be removed from the home if a person has allergic symptoms to said pet. Dietary restrictions during pregnancy or when breast feeding have not been found to be effective and thus are not recommended. Reducing or eliminating compounds known to sensitive people from the work place may be effective. It is not clear if annual influenza vaccinations effects the risk of exacerbations. Immunization; however, is recommended by the World Health Organization. Smoking bans are effective in decreasing exacerbations of asthma

Progonosis:
The prognosis for asthma is generally good, especially for children with mild disease. Mortality has decreased over the last few decades due to better recognition and improvement in care. Globally it causes moderate or severe disability in 19.4 million people as of 2004 (16 million of which are in low and middle income countries). Of asthma diagnosed during childhood, half of cases will no longer carry the diagnosis after a decade. Airway remodeling is observed, but it is unknown whether these represent harmful or beneficial changes. Early treatment with corticosteroids seems to prevent or ameliorates a decline in lung function.

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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/Asthma
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma

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News on Health & Science

‘Hot’ Substance in Chilli Peppers Key to Reduce Pain

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Studying chilli peppers is helping scientists create a new type of painkiller which could stop pain at its source.
…………..click & see

Capsaicin causes the burning sensation in chilli peppers

A team at the University of Texas says a substance similar to capsaicin, which makes chilli peppers hot, is found in the human body at sites of pain.

And blocking the production of this substance can stop chronic pain, the team found.

They report their findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Capsaicin is the primary ingredient in hot chilli peppers which causes a burning sensation.

It does this by binding to receptors present on the cells inside the body.

Similarly, when the body is injured, it releases capsaicin-like substances – fatty acids called oxidized linoleic acid metabolites or OLAMs – and these, via receptors, cause pain, the researchers have found.

Blocking pain
Dr Kenneth Hargreaves, senior researcher at the Dental School at the University of Texas, and his team next set out to see if they could block these newly discovered pain pathways.

Lab work on mice showed that by knocking out a gene for the receptors, there was no sensitivity to capsaicin.

Armed with this knowledge they set about making drugs to do the same.

Dr Hargreaves said: “This is a major breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms of pain and how to more effectively treat it.

“We have discovered a family of endogenous capsaicin-like molecules that are naturally released during injury, and now we understand how to block these mechanisms with a new class of non-addictive therapies.”

Ultimately, he hopes the drugs will be able to treat different types of chronic pain, including that associated with cancer and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Source:BBC NEWS:April 27. 2010

You may also click to see:->
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Ailmemts & Remedies News on Health & Science

Green Tea Extracts May Protect You From Oral Cancer

Extracts from green tea may prevent the formation of mouth cancers in people with risk signs of the disease, according to a new study from Texas. Over 50 percent of participants in the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center study experienced a clinical response to the green tea extracts.

Said lead researcher Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, MD.:…

“While still very early, and not definitive proof that green tea is an effective preventive agent, these results certainly encourage more study for patients at highest risk for oral cancer.

The extract’s lack of toxicity is attractive — in prevention trials, it’s very important to remember that these are otherwise healthy individuals and we need to ensure that agents studied produce no harm. We need to further understand if green tea offers longer-term prevention effects for patients.”

Almost 60 percent of people taking the two highest doses of the green tea extracts had a clinical response.Just over 36 percent of people in the lowest extract dose group had a clinical response, compared to 18 percent in the placebo group, said the researchers.

Resources:
Nutraingredients November 6, 2009
Cancer Prevention Research November 1, 2009

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Exercise

How Much Exercise Do Children Need?

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YOU’RE a parent and you want to do your best to be sure your children are healthy. So you worry about physical activity. How much exercise is enough? Will being active protect them against diabetes, cancer or heart disease later in life? Will it prevent them from getting fat?

You search for information, for official guidelines on physical activity. And, you soon discover, there is plenty of advice — at least 27 sets of official guidelines, notes Harold W. Kohl, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Austin who formerly worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the problem in making recommendations is a lack of good data.

We can’t “clarify the dose of physical activity and exercise that’s good for kids” as precisely as we think we can, Dr. Kohl said.

It’s not that experts haven’t tried.

For example, a few years ago the C.D.C. convened a panel of experts to review published papers and make the best recommendations. The panel’s co-chairman, Robert M. Malina, a professor emeritus of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin, noted that the group reviewed 850 published papers on the benefits of regular exercise for school-age children and adolescents.

In 2004, the panel concluded by recommending that children and adolescents get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Why 60 minutes and not 30 or 45? It was, Dr. Malina said, “a gut reaction” to the body of evidence.

Now, the Department of Health and Human Services is preparing a new set of guidelines, but most of the same questions remain, Dr. Kohl said. And even though he, Dr. Malina and most other exercise researchers enthusiastically endorse physical activity for everyone, they caution that some of its reputed benefits may be oversold.

In reviewing published papers, the C.D.C. and Human Services panels asked: How good are the data? They learned that, with a few exceptions, for every purported benefit, the evidence was often marginal or equivocal. And, Dr. Malina said, even in situations in which exercise has demonstrable effects, there are marked differences among individuals: some children will get more benefit than others and some will not get any at all.

The undisputed benefits of exercise, the panels said, are that it can lead to stronger muscles, greater endurance, and bones that are denser and have greater mineral content. In addition, when obese children exercise regularly, their body fat, blood lipids and blood pressure may fall. Exercise, though, has not been found to have those effects on healthy children of normal weight.

Even there, though, uncertainties remain, Dr. Kohl said. “Kids aren’t little adults, and they don’t do things for 30 minutes straight through,” he said. “You can put kids on treadmills and train them and that can somewhat help obese kids reduce their adiposity levels, but when you get out in the real world it’s not that easy.”

The panels asked whether exercise alleviates symptoms of anxiety or depression or whether it improves self-image. The studies were not large enough to draw conclusions, they said.

Another issue is academics. Do physically active and physically fit children do better in school? Do they have qualities, like an improved ability to pay attention, that might predict better academic performance?

The answer, Dr. Kohl said, is not known. “The only good data we have indicate that participation in a better physical education program does not negatively affect test scores,” he adds.

Parents sometimes are advised to get children involved in activities that they can do throughout a lifetime — walking, cycling or swimming. But, Dr. Malina said, there is no good evidence that the sport someone does as a child will affect activity as an adult.

“The evidence that tracks youngsters to adulthood is very relatively meager,” Dr. Malina said. And, he added, it is not clear how and why people change activities during their lives.

“I played all sorts of sports growing up,” he said. By the time he started college, he adds, “baseball was my sport.” Now, said Dr. Malina, who is 71, “in my old age, my activity is walking.”

Still, exercise researchers do have some advice for parents: Let the children decide what physical activity they want to do.

“The single best activity you can do is the one you will do,” said Charles B. Corbin, a professor emeritus in the department of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University and the author of more than 80 books on fitness.

And the mistake parents often make, Dr. Malina said, is to decide in advance which sports their children should pursue.

“All too often, youngsters do not have a choice in the decision-making process,” he explained. And, he said, no matter how much parents may want their children to be physically active, “if it is not fun, the child will not do it.”

Sources: The New York Times

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Congenital Blindness

Vision plays a very important part in the early development of a child. Impaired vision at birth will cause serious delay in development and is likely to lead to learning disabilities, particularly when associated with other problems, such as congenital deafness.

………………………………………………Jyotindra Mehta
Congenital blindness due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) took away Jyotindra Mehta’s power of sight at a very young age. Emigration to the US on scholarship, coupled with a readiness to take up any challenge, resulted in Jyotindra’s quick success there.

and Nevy George
Congenital blindness due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) took away thir eye sight at very early age.

About 9 in 10 children who are considered blind from birth have some vision, even though it may be only recognition of light and dark or shapes…..CLICK & SEE

Causes:
There are several causes including microphthalmos, cataracts, bilateral pseudogliomatous retinal detachments, and phthisis bulbi. OPPG is usually not suspected until fractures occur, frequently after seemingly minor trauma.

In the developed world, half of all cases of congenital blindness run in families and therefore may be due to a genetic disorder. another important cause is congenital infection such as the protozoal infection toxoplasmosis and the viral infection rubella. These infections are transmitted from the mother to the developing fetus during pregnancy and may lead to impaired vision in the newborn baby. congenital rubella is now rare in the developed world due to routine immunization. The baby’s eyes may also be affected by cataracts, in which the lenses are opaque, or glaucoma, in which the optic nerve is damaged due to increased pressure in the eyes. Congenital blindness may also be caused by damage to the brain as a result of lack of oxygen during birth.

Symptoms:
Parents usually become aware that their have a vision problem within a few weeks. he or she may less responsive than other babies, lying quietly to make the most of his or her hearing. parents may also notice that their baby:

· Is unable to fix his or her eyes on a close object.
· Has random eye movements.
· Does not smile by the age of 6 weeks.
· Has abnormally large, cloudy eyes if glaucoma is present.

Parents may find it difficult to bond with a quiet baby who does not smile.

Diagnosis:
If congenital blindness is not suspected by a baby’s parents, it will probably be picked up during a routine examination in infancy. A child suspected of having an impaired vision will be referred to a specialist for an examination and tests. His or her hearing will also be tested because, if the child is severely visually impaired, he or she will rely more on hearing.

Treatment:
It is possible to improve vision in only a smaller number of babies, such as those with cataracts or glaucoma. Early treatment of these conditions is important. cataracts are usually removed surgically within the first month of life. glaucoma may also be treated surgically to allow fluid to drain from the eye.

If vision cannot be improve, much can be done to help a child make maximum use of other senses or what little vision he or she has. if your child is diagnosed as blind, a team of specialist, including a teacher for the blind, will be able to give you and your child support and care. You will also be given advice on how to stimulate your child, by using your speech, sounds, and touch and how to adapt your home so that your child can explore it safely and develop self-confidence. Some children will require special schooling to learn braille, a system of raised dots that allows blind people to read.

Genetics counseling is available for parents of an affected child who wish to have more children or for prospective parents who are blind.

Click to see :
->

Preventable Causes of Congenital Abnormalities
Enzyme Responsible For Congenital Blindness
Prognosis :
Children treated for cataracts or glaucoma will probably still have impaired vision but often have enough sight to perform most activities unaided. Many blind or visually impaired children with no other disabilities go on to have successful personal and professional lives.

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.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=338
http://www.blonnet.com/ew/2005/03/07/stories/2005030700230200.htm