Allergic rhinitis is a swelling / inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose due to irritation or congestion and results in a running nose, itching and sneezing.
Allergic reaction in the nose leads to the release of certain chemicals. One of these chemicals the histamine causes dilatation of the blood vessel, skin redness and swollen membranes. Allergens in the house such as house dust, mites and pet dender cause allergic rhinitis. Other allergens e.g. moulds growing on the wallpaper, upholstery, carpets and house plants also acts as a consative agent.
• Frequent or repetitive sneezing
• Running or congested nose
• Itching in the nose, eyes, throat or roof of the mouth.
• A decreased sense of smell
• Postnasal drop or sinus headaches.
Baldness or Alopecia results when the hair loss occurs at an abnormally high rate but the replacement occurs at an abnormally slow rate or when normal hairs are replaced by thinner, shorter hairs.
• Hereditary and ageing
• Hormonal changes
• A serious illness or fever
• Medication such as cancer chemotherapy.
• Emotional or Physical stress
• Poor nutrition.
A well balance diet including fruits, salad, sprouts and nuts must be taken.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterised by inability of the body to burn up the sugars (carbohydrates) which have been ingested. It is caused by insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas.
There are Four main types of diabetes mellitus. There are:-
Type 1 or Juvenile-onset Diabetes mellitus- People in this type make little or no insulin in their body. It usually start in childhood but can occur at any age.
Type 2 or Adult-onset diabetes- This is the most common form of diabetes mellitus and is strongly associated with genetic tendency and obesity. The body produces normal or even high levels of insulin but certain factors make its utilization ineffective. Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy dietary patterns and the consequent obesity are the common causes.
Secondary Diabetes mellitus- It is caused by genetic condition, pancreatic disease, drugs, or other medical conditions.
Gestational diabetes mellitus or pregnancy induced diabetes.
Symptoms depend on the type and duration of diabetes. Common symptoms are:-
• Increased urination
• Increased thirst
• Increased appetite
• Blurred vision
• Urinary or vaginal infections
• Weight loss
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
• Slow healing of cuts or sores
» COMPLICATIONS OF LONG TERM DIABETES:-
• Retinopathy- Damage to the retina of the eye that can cause blindness.
• Kidney Disease- Steady decline in kidney function or overt kidney failure.
• Stroke- Diabetes have an increased risk of stroke
• Heart Disease- Hardening or blockage of arteries increases the risk of heart attack.
• Peripheral Neuropathy- Damage to the peripheral nerves and altered sensation. Patient may complain of numbness, tingling and / or burning pain in the extremities, hands and feets.
Diet control and regular exercise helps to control the diabetes mellitus.
Heartburn is the symptom of a condition called Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, in which the acid juice from the stomach returns into the oesophagus. This may lead to a harsh, burning sensation in the upper abdomen, moving through the chest and throat to the neck.
A small ring of muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter guards the oesophagus or the food pipe by acting as a valve which open during swallowing and closing immediately to prevent the moving back of the contents from the stomach to the oesophagus. When this valve fails to close adequately the stomach acid may reflux back into the oesophagus causing a burning sensation.
Certain factors contribute to a heartburn:-
• fatty and spicy foods delay stomach emptying leading to an increased tendency to reflux.
• Excessive alcohol intake and smoking.
• Obesity which may lead to an increased pressure in the abdominal cavity.
• A structurally weak sphincter muscle.
• Certain type of medications.
• Painful burning in the upper chest or abdomen
•Regurgitation or throwing up
• Difficulty in sleeping after eating.
• Bitter or sour taste in the throat
• Hoarseness and sore throat
• Following steps can help to control the heartburn:-
• Avoid alcohol
• Eat less fatty foods
• Reduce smoking
• Take small frequent meals rather than large heavy meal
• Maintain a normal body weight.
CAUSES OF HAEMORRHOID—
Several factors may cause piles-
• Chronic constipation or diarrhea.
• Straining during bowel movements.
• Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
• A lack of fibre in the diet.
Another cause of haemorrhoids is the weakening of the connective tissue in the rectum and anus that occurs with age.
Pregnancy can cause haemorrhoids by increasing pressure in the abdomen, which may enlarge the veins in the lower rectum and anus. Mostly , haemorrhoids caused by pregnancy disappear after childbirth.
SYMPTOMS OF HAEMORRHOIDS–
The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bright red blood during stool . Internal hemorrhoids that are not prolapsed are usually not painful. Prolapsed hemorrhoids often cause pain, discomfort, and anal itching.
Excessive straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus may make symptoms, such as itching and irritation, worse.
Simple diet and lifestyle changes often reduce the swelling of hemorrhoids and relieve haemorrhoid symptoms. Eating a high-fibre diet can make stools softer and easier to pass, reducing the pressure on hemorrhoids caused by straining. Other changes that may help relieve haemorrhoid symptoms include
• Drinking six to eight ounce glasses of water or other non-alcoholic fluids each day.
• Sitting in a tub of warm water for 10 minutes several times a day.
• Exercise to prevent constipation.
• Not straining during bowel movements
Blood Pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the artery, carrying blood away from the heart. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm. Hg. Where 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. High B.P. knows as Hypertension is defined as a blood pressure greater than 140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg. Diastolic. High blood pressure is related to the dietary intake of salt and fats. High salt intake leads to water retention and increases the volume of blood in the circulation. This leads to an extra load on the heart and it responds by increasing the pumping pressure. The saturated fat in the diet deposit in the blood vessels over time causing them to harden. The heart needs to exert extra pressure to pump blood through them causing the blood pressure to rise.
» Risk Factors:-
•secondary causes include disease condition that can result in high blood pressure. There are kidney diseases and hormonal diseases such as hypothyroidism.
• use of oral contraceptive in the women.
• Stop smoking
• Maintain a normal body weight.
• Eat low salt diet to control hypertension. Eat a healthy diet containing soluble fibres such as fruits and vegetables. Avoid high fat foods.
• Avoid coffee & colas
• Do not drink excessive alcohol
• Exercise regularly to keep fit.
• Reduce stress and relax after work
• Grave’s disease where the immune system produces antibodies that activate and stimulate the thyroid gland and results in production of hormones in large quantity.
• Certain benign or cancerous tumors
• Some forms of Goiter’s or thyroid enlargement can result in hyperthyroidism.
• Can occur in patients who take an over dose of any of the available forms of thyroid hormones.
• Weight loss
• Increased appetite
• Anxiety, nervousness and restless.
• Heat intolerance
• Increased sweating.
• Muscle cramps
• Palpitations and rapid heart rate
• Excessive thirst
• Protruding eyes.
• Irregular menstrual periods in women
• Sleep disturbances
• Uncoordinated movement
• Skin colors changes and itching
• Nausea and vomiting
• Breast development in men
• Hair loss
• High Blood Pressure.
• Goiter or thyroid enlargement
Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused by an immune process in which the body produces antibodies which attack the thyroid gland over years, this cause failure of thyroid glend to produce normal quantity of thyroid hormones. One of the most common type of this autoimmune condition is known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Hypothyroidism is a common Thyroid gland disorder and is more prevalent in women.It refers to the decrease in the functioning of Thyroid gland and thus low level of Thyroid hormones in the body.
Hypothyroidism may cause a variety of symptoms which vary from mild to severe. These include:-
• Weakness and fatigue
• Cold intolerance
• Weight gain inspite of poor appetite.
• Slow speech & hoarseness voice
• Dry flaky skin
• Puffy face, hands and feet
• Scanty menstruation
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME–
» IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME:-
Irritable bowel syndrome is chronic disorder of the large intestine or colon. It is the most common gastro-intestinal disorder. It is a condition of abnormally increased spontaneous movement of the small and large intestine generally aggravated by the emotional stress.
Most symptoms of this disease probably results from abnormal muscle movement or spasm of the lower part of the colon. A specific food item may trigger the attack. Spasm may also be triggered by stress or depression.
• Severe cramping pain in the abdomen
• Constipation or diarrhoea
• Lot of gas in the abdomen with belching
• A feeling of fullness in the rectum
• Symptoms often occur after eating a big meal or when under stress
• The symptoms may be temporarily relieved by having a bowel movement
• Dietary precautions are more important
• Increase the fibres in diet. High fibre foods include whole grain cereals, fruits, nuts and vegetables
• Eat smaller meals more frequently
• Avoid the alcohol.
• Relaxation techniques may help to manage the stress.
• Drink more water every day.
» KIDNEY STONES:- Stones can form anywhere in the urinary system. They develop when certain chemicals in the urine form crystals that stick together to form the stones. Small stones can pass through the urinary system without causing too much complaint but the larger stones can block the flow of urine or irritate the lining of the urinary tract.
Normal urine contains chemicals which prevent crystals from forming stones. Factors such as recurrent urinary tract infection, drinking less fluids and blockage of the urinary tract lead to the stone formation. Consuming too much calcium oxalate or uric acid in the diet, excess vitamin C or D, certain meditation and metabolic disease may also lead to the development of kidney stones.
Kidney stones may remain without any symptoms for a long time. Episodes of severe pain starting suddenly in the lower back under the ribs or in the lower abdomen occur. Pain is often associated with vomiting. It may last for minutes or hours followed by period of relief. Bleeding in the urine may occur. It there is associated urinary treact infection then burning during urination, frequent urge to urinate.
Certain precautions can help to prevent the formation of kidney stones. There are:-
• Drink plenty of water daily.
• Large amount of dairy products or foods rich in oxalate should not be consumed in case of a calcium oxalate stone.
• Red meat must be restricted in care of uric acid stones.
It is a neurological disorder that is characterised by severe and recurring headaches often on one side of the head. Pain may last for 4-72 hours and may range form a sharp shooting pain to a dull pain. It may begin at any age. Young women are most susceptible.
Migraine tends to run in families. Certain environmental stimuli cause an imbalance in the brain chemicals called neurotransmitters which might then cause the blood vessels to expand and cause the pain. Some people may have a more sensitive nervous system than others making them more vulnerable.
Other risk factors may be stress, certain foods such as cheese, citrus fruits, chocolate or alcohol (particularly red wine), poor sleeping habits and hormonal changes.
Most people have a warning period or ‘Aura’ before the onset of the actual headache. Symptoms of an aura include:-
• Numbness or tingling of face or arm.
• Blurred vision or silvery zigzag lines moving across the field of vision.
• Confusion or disorientation
• Depression, irritability.
Other main migraine symptome includes:-
• Throbbing headache often only on one side of the head and aggravated by the routine work.
• Extreme sensitivity to the light and sound.
• Nauses and vamitting
• Desire to be quiet
Since a migraine attack cannot be totally avoided, the patient should take care that the precipitating factors are reduced to the minimum. They must avoid foods that trigger an attack. Regular exercise and stress management are helpful.
Most children suffer from childhood allergies picked up in the park, play school or while playing in the garden with other children. Children are especially prone to such allergies because they are too young to identify the risks of not washing their hands after wiping their noses or playing in the dirt or before eating with their hands. They also tend to taste everything in their curiosity about the world around them and this increases the risk of allergies and infections. It is the duty of those caring for these children to help them follow proper hygiene.
Most common allergens are dust, strong odors, and certain types of foods, pet dander, mold and even clothes like woolen sweaters. Even strong smelling soaps and shampoos and other cleaning products can trigger allergies. Generally people, especially infants with allergies are also prone to skin problems as a result of allergic reaction to the different chemicals they come in touch with in their everyday lives. Another factor might be that most allergies are hereditary; if either one of the parents have an allergy, then there is a likelihood of the child also developing the same allergy.
» Symptoms of Nasal Allergies:-
Common symptoms include itching in and around the nose, running nose, chest congestion, frequent sneezing, and consistent coughing and breathing through the mouth accompanied by red and watery eyes. If such symptoms persist for weeks, then it is quite certain that the child is suffering from nasal allergies. Such allergies can, if left unaddressed, lead to further complications like an affected sinus and ear infections.
» Diagnosing Nasal Allergies:-
The best way to determine the possible allergens is to do the required blood tests for determining allergens, but such tests have been proved effective only from the age of three or higher. In cases of infants under three years of age the only way to determine the possible allergens is to study the causes, duration, frequency and whether the attacks are seasonal or weather-related and then make an informed decision.
» Preventing Nasal Allergies:-
Some common sense applied to your everyday lives might alleviate the child’s allergies. For instance using natural cotton clothes and bed linens might do away with fibre related allergies. Cutting down on outside food can reduce the chance of food allergies brought on by preservatives and chemicals. Keeping your house free of pets and dust mites will certainly get rid of the related allergens. Using damp mops to clean floors rather than a broom, clearing away carpets and heavy drapes that act as dust-collectors, getting rid of stuffed animals, etc can greatly reduce the incidences of allergy attacks in young children.
Seasonal changes, weather changes and allergens might all play an interactive role in your child’s health and so vigilance is the answer to tackle a child’s allergies. The only way to help your child suffering from nasal allergies is to be an aware, informed and vigilant parent.
Nasal polyps are soft, non-cancerous growths that develop in the lining of the nose. They result from the chronic inflammation in the lining Polyp can affect anyone at any age.
Nasal polyps are not a disease but end product of ongoing inflammation that may result from viral or bacterial infections, from allergies or from an immune system response to fungus. Chronic inflammation cause the blood vessels in the lining of nose and sinuses to become more permeable allowing water to accumulate in the cells which may develop into polyps.
1. Blocked Nose-
It is the main symptom of this condition. Patients feel their nasal passage is blocked and breathes mainly through the mouth.
2. Sleep Apnea-
Difficulty in breathing can cause sleep apnea or respiratory difficulties during sleep.
One of the par nasal sinuses can swell.
The sense of smell in nasal polyp patients is often impaired. In some cases, sufferers may have a total inability to smell.
5. Loss of Taste Sensation-
There is a loss of sense of taste.
Watery discharge from the nose is common in polyp patients. Most people with nasal polyps experience watering of nose during any season. This may aggravate in dusty or polluted atmosphere.
7. Postnasal Discharge-
In patients with large polyps, the mucus comes down from the back of the nose. This leads to a very uncomfortable sensation.
The blocked nose may lead to accumulation of mucus and cause headaches in the patient.
The nose blockage disrupts normal breathing and can cause snoring.
The ovaries are found in women, and consist of a pair of glands which are on either side of the uterus (womb). The ovaries produce ova (eggs) which are released into the uterus one a month, during the menstrual cycle. Each ovum develops in the ovary from a small swelling called a follicle. Usually, several of these follicles develop each month, but only one will produce a full matured ovum.
The ovaries also produce a variety of hormones including the main female hormone, known as oestrogen. The ovaries also produce small amounts of androgens, such as testosterone, which are sometimes called male hormones
When a person has polycystic ovary syndrome the ovaries are affected in the following ways:
1. Each month at least 12 follicles develop on the surface of the ovary The follicles are also known as cysts The cysts on the ovaries in PCOS are fluid sacs and are completely benign .
2. Although there are many follicles, they do not mature fully so no ovum is released. When ovulation does not occur, the woman will not have a period. In some people this happens every month meaning that they never ovulate. In some women ovulation occurs sometimes, leading to irregular periods.
3. The balance of hormones released by the ovaries gets affected. Usually the ovaries produce higher levels of testosterone that normal.
What Are The Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?–
There are a number of symptoms associated with the syndrome:
• Absent or irregular periods
• Weight gain
• Acne (spotty skin)
• Hirsutism (excessive hair growth on the face and body)
• Difficulties getting pregnant
• Thinning of scalp hair
How is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Diagnosed?–
Common tests include:
• Blood tests. These are used to measure levels of hormones, including testosterone and luteinising hormone. This can also help to rule out alternative hormone problems that might cause periods to stop.
• Ultrasound scan. This scan is done to look at the surface of the ovaries. This will show whether the ovaries are enlarged and polycystic.
Prostate gland is an organ which secretes a fluid found in semen. This gland is anatomically located around the urethra at the base of the bladder only in males.
Following Prostate affections can occur:-
1. Prostate enlargement:-
Benign(non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland occurs normally after age 50, probably secondary to the effects of male hormones. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia.
• Urine stream may became weak. Flow starts after a period of waiting.
• Frequent urination day and night.
• Dribbling of the urine or it may come in stops and starts.
• If the prostate becomes very large, the patient may present with complete blockage and retention of urine
It is the inflammation of the prostate gland.
• Bacterial infection
• Chemical irritation due to urine refluxing up into the ducts of the prostate gland.
In Acute prostatitis, symptoms are:-
• Fever and chills
• Pain in the low back, in the testes or scrotum.
• Burning pain during urination with frequent urination
In chronic prostatitis, the symptoms are less prominent. Persistent low backache or discomfort while passing urine and blood in the semen may be present.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by red, swollen skin lesions covered with silvery white scales. Psoriasis is not infectious.
Psoriasis is an inherited disease, however there are certain triggering factors such as injury to skin, vaccinations and certain medications have been responsible for the development of this condition. Excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, lack of or overexposure to sunlight, stress, cold climate and general poor health result in flaring up of psoriasis.
• skin patches- dry, red and covered with silvery scales, may crack and becomes painful usually found on the elbows, knees, trunk, scalp, hand and nails.
• Skin lesions- formation of pustules, cracking of skin and redness, itching.
• Small scaling dots on the skin.
• Joint pains.
• Additional symptoms that may be associated with the disease are nail abnormalities, lesion on the genitals, burning, itching and discharge from the eye.
Maintain a general good health which can help reduce the risk of flareups. Adequate rest and exercise, a well balanced diet and treatment of infections can help in making the treatment effective. General skin hygiene should be maintained by taking daily bath.
Tonsillitis is an infection and swelling of the tonsils which are oval shaped lymph nodes present in the back of mouth and the upper part of the throat.
Tonsillitis is mostly caused by a bacterial infection, mainly due to streptococcus, Pneumococcus and Haemophillus bacteria. Viruses e.g. Adenovirus may also cause tonsillitis. The infection spreads by:-
• Having a sore throat that develops with tonsillitis.
• Sharing utensils or toothbrushes with people infected by or carrying streptococcal bacteria.
• Coming in contact with someone suffering from tonsillar or phorgngeal infection.
• Rapid onset of a severe sore throat
• Moderate to high fever
• Difficulty and pain on swallowing.
• Red and enlarged tonsils that may or may not have pus.
• Swollen or tender lymph nodes below the jaw.
• Hoarseness or loss of voice may be present.
As the bacteria and viruses causing tonsillitis spread easily from person to person. So avoid exposure to anyone who is suffering from tonsillitis or sore throat. Old toothbrushes should be replaced to prevent infection. People taking care of someone suffering from tonsillitis should wash their hands frequently to prevent spreading the infection to others
Vitiligo is a relatively common skin disorder in which white spots or patches appear on the skin. These spots are caused by the destruction or weakening of the pigment cells in those areas, resulting in the pigment being destroyed or no longer produced. In most cases, vitiligo is believed to be an auto-immune related disorder. The colour of the skin is only affected whereas texture and other skin qualities remain normal. Vitiligo is not a contagious disease.
White patches or spots on the skin are first symptom. These patches are more obvious in sun exposed areas including the hands, feet, arms, legs, face and lips.
Vitiligo generally appears in one of 3 patterns:-
(a)focal pattern where the depigmentation is limited to one or only a few areas.
(b)Segmental pattern where white patches develop on one side of the body.
(c)General pattern where white patches occur on different parts of the body; often similar on each side of the body.
In addition, some people with the vitiligo may experience white hair growing in on the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard.