TONSILLITIS

Tonsils are two lymph nodes which are situated at the back of the throat. Inflammation of these lymph nodes is called tonsillitis.

It is common among children and can occur at any age. It is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, but streptococcal bacteria is contagious and could lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Symptoms:

  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Yellow or white colored  patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  •  scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomachache in younger children
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache

Complications:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Disrupted breathing during sleep
  • Infection spreading to surrounding tissue leading tonsillar cellulitis and peritonsillar abscess

Diagnosis:

The doctor examines the throat physically and palpate the neck region to check swollen lymph nodes and can take a throat swab for culture to know the cause of infection.

Treatment:

At home:

  • Encourage fluid intake
  • Take lots of rest
  • Avoid irritants
  • Use lozenges to relieve sore throat
  • Lukewarm salt water gargles several times a day

Medications:

  • Pain and fever can be minimized by taking analgesics and antipyretics
  • Antibiotics: If tonsillitis is caused by the bacterial infection then the doctor will suggest antibiotics which should be used. A complete course of antibiotics should be taken to prevent relapses or further complications.

Surgery:

Tonsillectomy: A surgical procedure done to remove tonsils in cases of recurrent tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis and in bacterial tonsillitis which doesn’t respond to treatments.

Surgery is indicated when tonsillitis is occurring frequently

It is also indicated in cases such as breathing difficulty, swallowing difficulty of food and abscess formation

Prevention:

Tonsillitis is caused by viral and bacterial infections, so hygiene should be maintained

  • Wash hands before eating and after using toilets
  • Avoid sharing utensils, water bottles, and food
  • Change the toothbrush after being diagnosed with tonsillitis

 

By,

Dr.Chandrashekar

 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/tonsillitis#treatment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tonsillitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378479

 

TIPS TO PREVENT FLARE UP OF GOUTY ARTHRITIS.

It is a condition caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in a joint leading to inflammation and swelling of the joint. It is a kind of arthritis which begins suddenly.

Cause:

The buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint leads to gouty arthritis. Uric acid is a byproduct of purine metabolism. Purines are substances in our body and are also found in food. Uric acid is excreted by the kidneys. An excess of uric acid present in the bloodstream is known as hyperuricemia and if left untreated will lead to acute attacks of gout.

Tips to prevent flare-ups:

  • Stop eating high purine-containing foods such as shellfish, red meat, and beer which sets off the gout attack
  • Stop or reduce intake of alcohol, it is one of the triggering factors for gout as it reduces the kidneys’ ability to filter uric acid and can result in excess build-up leading to gout attacks.
  • Being overweight is one of the reasons for gout attacks. Most of the obese people have metabolic syndrome which leads to elevated uric acid levels in the body leading to gout attacks. So make sure to reduce weight and exercise and eat healthy to prevent obesity.
  • Reduce the intake of soda. It is one of the triggering factors to elevate uric acid levels. So make sure to reduce intake of soda or if taken not more than 12 ounces per day.
  • Always stay hydrated, researchers have found that people who are dehydrated have high levels of uric acid levels in joints and formation of kidney stones. Though the exact reason is not known. So make sure to have plenty of water daily.
  • Proper fitting shoes: Always wear shoes which are comfortable to walk or else it may cause trauma to the foot which in turn flares up the gout attack.
  • Some medications such as diuretics reduce the kidney’s ability to remove uric acid and leads to hyperuricemia, a risk factor for developing gout. So if you have gout attacks, make sure to go over the medications when you consult a doctor and undergo regular checkups to prevent the risk of gout attacks.

 

By,

Dr.Chandrashekar

 

References:

https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/understanding-gout-prevention

https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/articles/how-to-stop-a-gout-attack.php

https://blog.ekincare.com/2018/07/19/gouty-arthritis/

 

MUSCLE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES.

MUSCLE  STRENGTHENING EXERCISES

Basic muscle strength is required for your simple everyday tasks such as sitting or standing posture or walking, running, lifting and throwing. The task you do pre determines the type of strengthening exercises that help you reach your goals.

5 exercises that can help strengthen your muscles quickly are:

  1. Jumping Jacks: this is a whole body exercise that warms up your body and elevates the mood and activates various groups of muscles in the body. This exercise also helps with motor coordination. To do the exercise stand straight with feet close and hands close to the body. Jump and split your legs so that the right leg is in front and left leg is at back, again do the vice versa.  Do 15 to 30 jumps, while taking a rest in between for a minute for each set.
  2. Arm Extensions: this exercise helps in strengthening the arms and shoulders. Take hold of a dumbbell or water bottle, and then flex your elbow keeping close to the body. Then raise the arms straight up over the head and slowly return back to its original position. Do two or three sets of each 10 to 15 repetitions. Take rest for a minute for every set.
  3. Forward Lunges: it helps in strengthening muscles in your legs and buttocks. Take a big step forward with one leg and bend your knees so that it’s at a 90° angle with the floor. Bring your other leg down until it’s almost touching the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position. Alternate legs with each repetition and be careful to keep your torso upright and back straight when doing this exercise. Do two to three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions by taking a minute rest in between each set.
  4. Pushups: doing this strengthens the pectoralis muscles along with back muscles of the arm. Get into the plank position forming a straight line, slowly raise yourself by pushing the ground away from you. Make sure to breathe out as u push and breathe in as you come back to the original position. Do around two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions by taking a rest for a minute in between each set.
  5. Planks: this exercise helps in strengthening the abdominal muscles or core muscles. Get into a push-up position, rest your whole body weight on your forearms and toes holding your position above the ground.  Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Do two to three sets by resting for a minute in between each set.

Who can do the strengthening exercises?

Men and women of all age group can do these exercises to strengthen the core muscles. It is important to start slow with about 5 repetitions of each type of muscle strengthening exercise and gradually increase the number of repetitions. People above 50 years of age need to consult a doctor before starting the exercises and need supervision while doing these exercises as they put a strain on their bodies.

Benefits of strengthening exercises:

  • Improves overall fitness
  • Helps in developing lean body mass
  • Helps in burning calories
  • Improves mental strength
  • Helps in developing stronger bones

P.S : It’s always best to consult a fitness expert before doing these exercises so that they can guide you and advise you the best-suited exercises according to your requirements.

 

By,

Dr.Chandrashekar

 

References:

https://physioworks.com.au/treatments-1/muscle-strengthening

https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/core-strengthening-exercises/#gref

https://www.brunet.ca/en/advices/strengthen-your-muscles-quickly.html

 

 

 

Tips to beat work stress

Stress accounts for 40% of all work related illnesses. Progressive organizations are adopting proactive ways to build employee resilience to avoid stress and exhaustion, based on the understanding that mental health is as important as physical health for well-being.

Tips to handle work stress better –

  • Right start to the day – A calm morning will lead to a better day.  Starting the day with good nutrition, proper planning, and a positive attitude may relieve the stress of the workplace.
  • Be clear on requirements – Unclear job requirements contributes to job burnout. If you don’t know exactly what’s expected of you, or if the requirements keep changing with little notice, you may find yourself much more stressed than necessary. Talk to your supervisor about the expectations and requirements from you, it can relieve stress for both of you.
  • Stay away from conflict – Interpersonal conflicts are a major part of work stress and most of the time avoidable. Avoid getting into office gossip, discussion on personal issues and comparisons. Try to avoid people who don’t work well with others.
  • Stay organized – This helps in avoiding unnecessary clutter and chaos at workplace reducing a lot of work stress. Keeping yourself organized means by maintaining a work calendar, clearing the clutter.
  • Be comfortable – Since a major part of the day is spent in the office, physical discomfort is one of the most common causes of work stress. Sit on a comfortable chair, avoid incorrect posture and take rest whenever possible can relieve a lot of stress at work.
  • Walk at lunch – One way to increase physical activity and manage stress at work at the same time, is to get some exercise during your lunch break and perhaps take short breaks throughout the day. This can help you relax, lift your mood, and get into better shape.

 

Being a high achiever can help you feel good about yourself and excel at work but being a perfectionist, can drive you and the people around you stressed. Hence opt for achievable goals and make it a stress free working environment for yourself and others.

 

-Dr Prerna Gaur

Syncope (Loss of Consciousness): A symptom, not a diagnosis..

Syncope, or fainting, is a form of sudden loss of consciousness caused by decreased or insufficient blood flow to the brain which can be of rapid onset, short duration, and spontaneous and complete recovery.  40% will experience syncope at least once in a lifetime. Syncope can occur when a normal reflex is overstimulated, which slows the heart rate and, along with dilation of blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and decreases blood flow to the brain.

Types of Syncope:

Vasovagal syncope is the most common type of fainting. It can be provoked by emotional or physical stress, for example, intense fear, prolonged standing in a crowded, warm room, or having blood drawn. It is often preceded by warning symptoms such as sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, and visual blurring.

Situational syncope occurs in relation to certain specific actions, most commonly urinating or straining with a bowel movement.

Carotid sinus syncope can occur with pressure on the carotid artery, often resulting from a tight-fitting shirt or shaving.

Orthostatic syncope Occurs immediately or up to 10 minutes after assuming upright posture from sleeping or sitting position. Orthostatic hypo-tension refers to low blood pressure that occurs while standing. This may result from dehydration, medications, or certain health conditions.

Cardiac Syncope(or cardiovascular) syncope is caused by arrhythmia and structural heart disease. These may occur in combination because structural disease renders the heart more vulnerable to abnormal electrical activity.

Disorders Mimicking Syncope

  • With loss of consciousness, i.e., seizure disorders, concussion
  • Without loss of consciousness, i.e., psychogenic “pseudo-syncope”

 

Evaluation:

  • The history and physical examination are the most important tools in the initial evaluation of syncope.
  • Details of the syncopal event must be evaluated in detail, including postural, exertional, or situational symptoms, palpitations or cardiac symptoms, use of medications, family history of sudden cardiac death and personal history of cardiac disease.
  • Patients who experience syncope with urination, defecation, coughing, swallowing, or while drawing blood have situational syncope.
  • Syncope related to ischemia is presumed when symptoms are present with ECG findings.
  • Monitoring blood pressure during and after attack are necessary to know if it is related to change in the blood pressure
  • Syncope in patients with coronary artery disease requires evaluation for arrhythmia and ischemia. The evaluation includes exercise stress testing, myocardial perfusion imaging, or cardiac catheterization, depending on the patient’s level of risk and specific findings
  • EEG, Head CT, Head MRI are rarely used, may help in diagnosing seizure and neurological causes.
  • Sugar levels are also tested to rule out hypoglycemic attacks which can mimic syncope.

 

Management:

After knowing the type of syncope and the cause for it, management will be based on the type.

  1. Acute intervention includes physical maneuvers, eg: crossing legs or tugging arms, lowering head, lying down
  2. If it is orthostatic syncope, moving feet and leg few minutes before rising, rising slowly and step-wise will help.
  3. Syncope due to cardiac issues must be treated accordingly based on the test reports.
  4. Reduce / stop exacerbating medication.
  5. Long-term prevention includes education, diet, fluids, salt, minimizing caffeine/alcohol, support hose, sleeping with head of bed elevated, drug therapy,cardiac pacing.

 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/syncopal-episode

https://www.webmd.com/brain/qa/what-causes-fainting

By,

Dr. Y. Alekhya

Preventive measures for urinary tract infections..

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) which can affect the bladder, kidneys and the uterus can be more dangerous if they are left untreated. By taking simple steps, everyone especially women, can avoid getting a UTI.

Preventive measures which are widely used to prevent UTI:

  1. Drinking plenty of water is the first step towards prevention, dehydration can concentrate your urine thus leading to infection. If you are not emptying frequently, it leads to bacterial overgrowth in the bladder.
  2. Do not ‘hold on’ when you need to go.
  3. Make sure even your children follow the same.
  4. Make sure that personal hygiene is maintained.
  5. There is some evidence that unsweetened cranberry juice stops bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.

Advice for women 

  • Try to maintain a good hygiene, wiping the area from front to back after going to the toilet.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Avoid tight-fitting or synthetic clothing.
  • Using soap or perfumed products in the genital area should be avoided.
  • Use a lubricant during sex.
  • Emptying the bladder soon after sexual intercourse is important.
  • Don’t use douches, sprays or powders in genital area.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/uti-home-remedies#section8

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-urinary-tract-infections-prevention

By,

Dr. Y. Alekhya

How important is oral health for overall health??

Maintaining good oral hygiene keeps the body healthy. Oral cavity consists of countless bacteria, if oral hygiene is not maintained properly, it may affect one’s overall health.

Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful important point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of many medical conditions. Normally there is very less chance for bacteria in your mouth to enter into the bloodstream. However, some dental treatments which are invasive, sometimes even just regular brushing and flossing if you have gum disease can provide a way of entry for these bacteria. Some antibiotics and medications which reduce saliva flow disrupt the normal balance of bacteria and compromise your mouth’s normal defenses, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

Bacteria from oral infections can enter the bloodstream or airways and travel to other parts of the body. These bacteria have the potential to worsen or increase the risk for other types of health problems such as heart disease, stroke and respiratory problems.  People living with diabetes are prone to a variety of bacterial infections, including gum disease.

Oral infections can make it difficult to control diabetes and cause complications, since the bacteria from severe gum disease may increase both blood sugar levels and the length of time the body struggles with high blood sugar.

It is important for pregnant women to take care of their oral health, as the bacteria from gum disease may trigger an inflammatory response that might induce premature labor and delivery. Poor oral health has been linked to sleeping problems, as well as behavioral and developmental problems in children. Regular visits to a dentist and effective oral care can prevent and control gum diseases or even reverse them in early stages.

Below are some tips to have a healthy mouth:

  1. Schedule dentist appointments, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene
  2. Brush twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  3. Cleaning or flossing once a day to remove food and plaque is important.
  4. Clean or scrape the tongue daily.
  5. Using mouth rise after consulting your dentist is recommended.
  6. Check gums/mouth regularly and report any changes or signs of gum disease to a dentist.
  7. Conduct self-examinations for oral cancer. If anything abnormal is noted, you should consult a specialist
  8. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and clean your mouth with water every time after eating
  9. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco, it increases the risk of oral and many other types of cancers.

REFERENCES:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health

By,

Dr. Y. Alekhya

Are you at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Are you a pure vegetarian and do not consume milk products? or

Are you a recently turned vegan? or

Are you above 50 years of age? or

Did you had a weight loss surgery?

 

Chances are that you might be having vitamin B12 deficiency and not have any symptoms.

Plants don’t make vitamin B12. The only foods that deliver it are meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, and other foods from animals. Strict vegetarians and vegans are at high risk for developing a B12 deficiency if they don’t eat foods that have been fortified with the vitamin or take a vitamin supplement. People who have weight-loss surgery are also more likely to be low in vitamin B12 because the surgery interferes with the body’s ability to extract vitamin B12 from food. Elderly have less than normal absorption of B12 from the gut.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can be overlooked or confused with something else. Common symptoms are tingling, numbness or strange sensations in arms, legs or feet, difficulty in walking(staggering, balance issues), swollen tongue, weakness and memory loss.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily detected by a simple blood test.

In many people,  vitamin B12 deficiency can be prevented. If you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to eat breads, cereals, or other grains that have been fortified with vitamin B12.

If you are over 50 years of age, a standard multivitamin is usually recommended since you may not be able to absorb enough of the vitamin through foods.

Early detection and treatment is important. Your doctor may also prescribe tablets or injections if required. If left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe neurological problems and blood issues.
-Dr Prerna Gaur

Phimosis and Paraphimosis

Phimosis is a condition in which the foreskin gets too tight to be pulled back over the head or glans of the penis.

It occurs in males who have not undergone circumcision (removal of the foreskin covering the tip of the penis). Phimosis resolves or improves on its own with age.

Paraphimosis is a more severe condition affecting the foreskin, in which repositioning of the foreskin to the unretracted position is not possible, and this limits the blood flow to the penis and thus causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Since it affects blood supply it is more often a medical emergency.

In adults, there are certain factors that may lead to Phimosis or Paraphimosis such as-

  1. Repeated urinary tract infections.
  2. Foreskin infection
  3. Repeated rough handling of the foreskin
  4. Sexually Transmitted Infections
  5. Certain other health conditions such as Diabetes (which predisposes one Eczema, Psoriasis, Lichen planus, Lichen sclerosis

Certain symptoms such as those below should hint on Phimosis or Paraphimosis- 

  1. Inability to pull back the foreskin*
  2. Redness, soreness, or swelling of the foreskin
  3. A tight foreskin which may interfere with the normal passage of urine and cause incomplete emptying of the bladder.
  4. Bulging of the foreskin (especially during urination)
  5. Phimosis can lead to inflammation of the penis, called balanitis, or inflammation of both the glans and the foreskin.
  6. Difficulty ejaculating
  7. Difficulty urinating
  8. Discoloration or bruising of the tip of the penis *
  9. Swelling of the tip of the penis *

The diagnosis of phimosis or paraphimosis is made by history and physical examination. Due to the sensitivity of the situation many men feel shy to discuss it with medical practitioners. However, it is very important to talk about it especially if you have any of the symptoms that have been marked with * as they may turn into an emergency.

The treatment most often depends on the cause.

Phimosis is a relatively non- emergency situation and a visit to a urologist can help. The treatment advise is based on the severity of the condition and if it has been recurring. Certain tips on hygiene and treatment for the underlying cause is given if it is non-recurrent. However, if it is serious and recurrent, the doctor may advise you for circumcision.

Paraphimosis, on the other hand, if often an emergency and painful situation which may require minor surgery.

Tips to prevent Phimosis and paraphimosis

  1. Good hygiene – Gently cleaning the penis and under the foreskin, with warm water, every day will help avoid problems. This will help in keeping the skin loose and avoiding infection.
  2. Carefully replacing the foreskin – It is important to replace the foreskin every time it is pulled back.
  3. Being sexually responsible – It is important to use condoms and practice safe sex.
  4. Take care of underlying health issues – that may give rise to either- If you are a diabetic or suffer from any condition that may give rise to recurrent urinary tract infection then it is advisable to keep a check on your underlying condition.
  5. Circumcision – Recurrent Phimosis can be prevented by circumcision.

 

Written by Dr.Afroze Fatima

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/penis-health/art-20046175

https://www.webmd.com/men/phimosis-paraphimosis#1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319993.php

https://www.healthgrades.com/conditions/phimosis

https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/phimosis-and-paraphimosis.html

LIFE WITH OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

It is a well-known fact that OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of mental health problem.

As the name suggests, people with OCD can have either obsessive thoughts or urges or compulsive, repetitive behaviors. Some have both obsessions and compulsions.

In case of OCD, an obsession is an uncontrollable thought or fear that causes undue stress and compulsion is a repetitive rule-bound behavior that the individual feels must be performed in order to ease off from distressing situations, the relief, however, is temporary.

If these obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities, they may cause significant problems and distress.

If a person suffers from OCD, ignoring or trying to stop one’s obsessions may cause an increase in distress and anxiety and ultimately, there is a drive to perform compulsive acts to ease the stress.

Obsessions and compulsions often have a theme, for example, a fear of dirt and germs which causes a person to compulsively wash hands more than usual.

If you feel that you have OCD and it is causing disruption in your daily life, then talking to a trained health care professional can really help. OCD is usually treated with medication or psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or a combination of both.

Here are the things that can be tried to overcome OCD-

    1. Talk about your condition – Many people who live with OCD find that an important first step in self-help is to open up about their condition with friends and family to feel more comfortable about the condition, as well as feel less isolated.
    2. Relaxation– Stress, and anxiety worsen the symptoms of OCD. Therefore proper and timely management of stress is a really important coping strategy. It is important to know what your stressors are and learn to manage them well. Avoiding situations that can cause stress, learning how to cope up, taking breaks from stressful situations, taking up hobbies that help you relax are some good methods to deal with stress.
    3. Sleep – Studies have shown that mental health problems including OCD tend to flare up as a result of not getting enough sleep. So it is very important to stick to a healthy and consistent sleeping pattern. Avoiding coffee/tea late in the day, avoiding the use of electronic gadgets late in the evenings are some very important factors that affect sleep.
    4. Diet – It is very important to eat a healthy diet at all times, especially if you suffer from any mental health issue. A very important point is to maintain blood sugar levels. It is best if sudden blood sugar fluctuations are minimized. A sugar rush or a low blood sugar both are equally detrimental. It is therefore advisable to eat foods that release energy slowly. Nuts, seeds, pasta, rice, and cereal are some examples of foods that can be taken as they help to balance blood sugar levels.
    5. Regular Exercise – Regular exercise not only keeps the stress hormone cortisol, under control but also produce happy hormones- the endorphins.

 

 
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354438

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/obsessive-compulsive-disorder#1

https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/understanding-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-symptoms#1

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-tips-living-with-ocd#1

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm/

http://beyondocd.org/expert-perspectives/articles/ten-things-you-need-to-know-to-overcome-ocd

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321341.php